Tamlyn Tomita

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Tamlyn Tomita
Born Tamlyn Naomi Tomita
(1966-01-27) January 27, 1966 (age 51)
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).

Early life[edit]

Tomita was born in Okinawa, the daughter of Shiro and Asako Tomita. 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.[1] Her father died of cancer in 1990. Tomita graduated from Granada Hills High School in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.[2]

Before becoming an actress, Tomita won the title of Queen at the Nisei Week Pageant in Los Angeles in 1984,[3] 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.[4]



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.[5][6] She later had major roles in a number of independent movies. Her biggest role was in the 1990 drama film Come See the Paradise.[6][7] In 1993, she co-starred opposite Ming-Na Wen in the ensemble cast drama The Joy Luck Club[6] 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.[8]

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 appeared as a character named Ming Li on the NBC daytime soap opera Santa Barbara from May to September 1988.[2][9] 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 as well as the pilot movie for Babylon 5. During her career she guest starred on Seven Days, 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, Zoo, Tour of Duty, 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.


Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Karate Kid Part II Kumiko
1987 Hawaiian Dream Karren Saito
1988 Hiroshima Maiden Miyeko Matsuda
1990 Vietnam, Texas Lan
1990 Come See the Paradise Lily Yuriko Kawamura / McGann
1993 Babylon 5: The Gathering Lt. Cmdr. Laurel Takashima
1993 The Joy Luck Club Waverly
1994 Picture Bride Kana
1995 Notes on a Scale
1995 Four Rooms Wife Segment "The Misbehavers"
1997 The Killing Jar Diane Sanford
1997 Touch Prosecutor
1998 Hundred Percent Thaise
1998 Soundman Butch's Wife
1998 Living Out Loud Bob's Wife
1999 Life Tastes Good Julie Sado
2003 Robot Stories Marcia
2004 The Perfect Party Mother
2004 The Day After Tomorrow Janet Tokada
2005 Gaijin 2: Love Me as I Am Maria Yamashita Salinas
2006 Only the Brave Mary Takata
2008 The Eye Mrs. Cheung
2008 Finding Madison Beth
2009 Why Am I Doing This? Donna
2009 Tekken Jun Kazama
2009 Private Practice Katie's Lawyer Season 3, Episode 5 "Strange Bedfellows"
2010 The Mikado Project Viola
2010 Nómadas
2012 Make It or Break It Dr. Lim Season 3, Episode 6 "Listen to the Universe"
2013 Awesome Asian Bad Guys Tamlyn
2014 Teacher of the Year Vivian Lew
2014 How to Get Away with Murder Judge Carol Marrow Season 1: Episode 7 "He Deserved to Die"
2014-present Teen Wolf Noshiko Yukimura recurring role; 16 episodes
2015 Daddy Sharlene Hong
2015 The Waiting Heather Cromwell
2015 Chasing Life Mae recurring role; 5 episodes
2015 Zoo Minako Oz recurring
2016 The Unbidden Lauren Lee
2016 The Good Neighbor Heather Cromwell
2016 Berlin Station Sandra Abe


  1. ^ "New America Media". Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Tamlyn Tomita Biography (1966-)". Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  3. ^ http://www.niseiweek.org/court/pastqueens.php
  4. ^ "Ôql". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Myong Choi. "HIFF: Interview with Tamlyn Tomita". Frolic Hawaii. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Tamlyn Tomita". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Tamlyn Tomita". EW.com. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "FILM REVIEW;Hellish Guests in Kinky Spats in 'Four Rooms'". 26 December 1995. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  9. ^ http://santabarbara-online.com/mingli2.htm
  10. ^ "General Hospital: Tamlyn Tomita Cast As Kate Howard Rival". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

External links[edit]