Tamlyn Tomita

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Tamlyn Tomita
Born Tamlyn Naomi Tomita
(1966-01-27) January 27, 1966 (age 49)
Okinawa, Japan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1986–present

Tamlyn Naomi Tomita (born January 27, 1966) is a Japanese-born American actress and singer. She made her screen debut in The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), and later was leading and supporting roles in films Come See the Paradise (1990), The Joy Luck Club (1993), Picture Bride (1994), Four Rooms (1995), Robot Stories (2003), and The Day After Tomorrow (2004). In 1991, Tomita was featured in People Magazine.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tomita was born in Okinawa, the daughter of Shiro and Asako Tomita, and she is 1/4 Filipino on her mother's side of the family. Her father was a distinguished Japanese-American man who was interned at Manzanar, California, during part of World War II, then later became a Los Angeles police officer, rising to the rank of sergeant and helping to form the first Asian Task force in that Department.[2] Her father died of cancer in 1990. Tomita graduated from Granada Hills High School in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.[3]

Before becoming an actress, Tomita won the title of Queen at the Nisei Week Pageant in Los Angeles in 1984,[4] and Miss Nikkei International in 1985. In 1987, Tomita made her Japanese singing debut on the label Polydor. She released a single and an album.[5]



In 1984, Tomita got her big break by traveling as Queen of Nisei Week to Hawaii, where she was selected as part of a casting call by director John G. Avildsen to make her acting debut in The Karate Kid, Part II.[6][7] She later had major roles in a number of independent movies. Her biggest role was in the 1990 drama film Come See the Paradise.[7][8] In 1993, she co-starred opposite Ming-Na Wen in the ensemble cast drama The Joy Luck Club[7] and the next year she had a role in the 1994 independent film Picture Bride. In 1995 Tomita appeared alongside Antonio Banderas in the Robert Rodriguez-directed segment of the vignette anthology comedy Four Rooms.[9]

In the 21st Century, Tomita has had roles in other independent films and co-starred in several major Hollywood productions, including playing Janet Tokada in The Day After Tomorrow. In 2005, she starred in the Brazilian drama film Gaijin 2: Love Me as I Am and also had leading roles in the independent films Robot Stories in 2003 and Only the Brave in 2006. Tomita also appeared in The Eye and Tekken.


Tomita was regular cast member on the NBC daytime soap opera, Santa Barbara from 1987 to 1989.[3] In 2008, she made her return to daytime soaps with recurring role on the ABC's General Hospital.[10] In 2012 she had another recurring role on NBC's Days of Our Lives.

From 1996 to 1997, Tomita was regular cast member in the short-lived UPN drama series, The Burning Zone. During her career she guest starred on Quantum Leap, Living Single, Murder, She Wrote, Chicago Hope, Will & Grace, Nash Bridges, The Shield, Strong Medicine, Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, The Mentalist, Private Practice, True Blood and many other dramas and comedies. She had recurring roles on Crossing Jordan, JAG, 24, Eureka, Heroes, Law & Order: Los Angeles, Glee, Teen Wolf, Resurrection, How to Get Away with Murder and Chasing Life.


  1. ^ "Tamlyn Tomita: Actress 25". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  2. ^ http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=4b02820ef09c914e49d45c046b1b89e2
  3. ^ a b Tamlyn Tomita Biography (1966-)
  4. ^ http://www.niseiweek.org/court/pastqueens.php
  5. ^ "Ôql". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Myong Choi. "HIFF: Interview with Tamlyn Tomita". Frolic Hawaii. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Tamlyn Tomita". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Tamlyn Tomita". EW.com. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "FILM REVIEW;Hellish Guests in Kinky Spats in 'Four Rooms'". 26 December 1995. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "General Hospital: Tamlyn Tomita Cast As Kate Howard Rival". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

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