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Tamara Tunie

Born:  March 14, 1959

Birthplace:  McKeesport, PA

Zodiac Sign:  Pisces

Tamara Tunie is an American film, stage, and television actress, director, and producer. She is best known for her roles as attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns (1987-1995, 2000-2007, 2009) and as medical examiner Melinda Warner in the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2000-2019, briefly later).

Tunie has appeared in a number of movies, including Wall Street (1987), Rising Sun (1993), The Devil's Advocate (1997), and Flight (2012). She received Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female nomination for her performance in the 2001 drama film The Caveman's Valentine. In 2010, she made her directing debut with romantic comedy film See You in September. Tunie also received the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2007 for producing Spring Awakening and Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress in 2016 for Familiar.

Tunie made her Broadway debut alongside Lena Horne in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music in 1981. From 1987 to 1995, she starred in the CBS daytime soap opera As the World Turns playing attorney Jessica Griffin. She reprised the role from 2000 to 2007, receiving NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2003 and 2004. In the 1990s. Tunie guest-starred in primetime dramas including Swift Justice, Law & Order, Chicago Hope, New York Undercover, and Sex and the City. She also had a recurring role as Lillian Fancy in the ABC police drama NYPD Blue from 1994 to 1997.

Tunie has had supporting roles in a number of movies. She made her film debut in Sweet Lorraine opposite Maureen Stapleton and later appeared in Wall Street (1987). Tunie worked twice with Al Pacino; she portrayed his press secretary in the film City Hall (1996) and the possessed wife of a partner in his law firm in the film The Devil's Advocate (1997). Her other credits include Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Eve's Bayou (1997), The Peacemaker (1997), and Snake Eyes (1998). In 2001, she received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Awards for her role in film The Caveman's Valentine, based on George Dawes Green's eponymous novel, opposite Samuel L. Jackson.

In 2000, Tunie joined the cast of NBC police procedural series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as medical examiner Melinda Warner. She made her debut as Warner in the second-season episode titled "Noncompliance" and continued to make recurring appearances until Season 7, when she became a regular cast member. She also played this role in Law & Order: Trial by Jury in episode "Day" in 2005, and in the Chicago Fire episode "We Called Her Jellybean" in 2015. Tunie was regular in SVU from Season 7 to 12 and later made recurring appearances to Season 17. She later appeared in episodes in 2018 and 2019, totaling 223 credited episodes.

In 2002, Tunie played Alberta Green in the first season of the Fox thriller series 24. In 2010, she made her directing debut with romantic comedy film See You in September. In 2012, she returned to film, playing Margaret Thomason in the Robert Zemeckis-directed drama Flight starring Denzel Washington. From 2014 to 2015, she was regular cast member in the Sundance TV drama series The Red Road.

Tunie won a Tony Award in 2007 for the production of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening; she has also won a Drama Desk Award. In 2016, she won an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance in Familiar, written by Danai Gurira.

From 2016 to 2018, Tunie had a recurring role as Monica Graham in the CBS police drama series Blue Bloods. In 2018, she was regular cast member in two series, ABC comedy-drama Dietland and BBC Two/Netflix co-produced drama Black Earth Rising. In the latter she played Eunice Clayton, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Her other television credits include The Good Wife, Survivor's Remorse, Better Call Saul, and Almost Family. Tunie also played Gugu Mbatha-Raw's mother in the 2018 romantic comedy-drama film Irreplaceable You.


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