Tamara Tunie is in her tenth season as Medical Examiner Melinda Warner in Wolf Films/Universal Media Studio’s top-rated series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Ms. Tunie has had other memorable roles on television, most notably as the longstanding character Jessica Griffin on the CBS Daytime Drama As The World Turns for which she received two NAACP Image Award nominations and two Soap Opera Digest award nominations. She also appeared in the highly visible role of Alberta Green in season one of the hit series 24 (when she worked on three series simultaneously), as well as guest appearances on Law and Order, Sex and the City, and NYPD Blue.
Last summer, Ms.Tunie went behind the camera producing and directing her first feature film entitled See You In September, starring Justin Kirk and Estella Warren. Shooting on the streets of New York City, the film surrounds a woman who forms a support group for abandoned patients when all their therapists go on vacation in August and finds true love.
Ms. Tunie starred on Broadway with Denzel Washington in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the play’s first Broadway staging in over 50 years and received rave reviews for her turn in the lead role of Madame de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuse at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. She starred in Fences in August Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center, in Washington, DC. In 2006–2007, Ms. Tunie became a Broadway producer on the team responsible for producing the Tony Award winning musical Spring Awakening. She also produced August Wilson’s Tony Award nominated Radio Golf. She has shared the Broadway stage with Lena Horne in the Broadway musical Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, and starred in David Merrick’s revival of Oh Kay! with Brian Stokes Mitchell. Ms. Tunie toured Europe with Bubblin’ Brown Sugar and portrayed Helen of Troy in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Troilus and Cressida in Central Park. In addition, Ms. Tunie played Maggie in the first all African American production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Theatre Virginia in Richmond. After September 11th, she co-starred with many veterans of Broadway, including Audra Mc Donald, in the 20th anniversary benefit concert of Dreamgirls.
In film, Ms. Tunie has worked with some of the most respected directors of the screen, including Taylor Hackford, Brian De Palma, Mimi Leder, Harold Becker and Oliver Stone. She had the unique opportunity to work with the legendary Al Pacino; she portrayed the possessed wife of a partner in his law firm in the hit film The Devil’s Advocate, and his press secretary in City Hall. She also worked with famed director Kasi Lemmons and Samuel L. Jackson on both Eve’s Bayou and The Caveman’s Valentine.
Ms. Tunie is Chair Emerita of the Board of Directors of FIGURE SKATING IN HARLEM, a non-profit organization that teaches education and life skills to young girls in the Harlem community through the art and discipline of Figure Skating. She recently joined the Board of Directors of GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVER and HARLEM STAGE/THE GATEHOUSE, and serves on the Advisory Board of HEARTS of GOLD, THE CHERRY LANE THEATRE and LANDING STRIP FILMS. In 2005, Mayor Bloomberg awarded Ms. Tunie the “Made in New York Award” from the City of New York for her support and commitment to Film, Television and Theater in Manhattan.
Ms. Tunie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre (that’s right, triple threat!) from Carnegie-Mellon University. She resides in Harlem with her husband, Jazz Vocalist, Gregory Generet.