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Tamara Tunie
Born March 14, 1959 (1959-03-14) (age 51)
McKeesport, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Other name(s) Tamara Tunie Bouquett

Tamara Lou Tunie (born 14 March 1959) is an American actress, best known for her work as medical examiner Melinda Warner on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She is also well known for her portrayal of lawyer Jessica Griffin McKechnie Harris on the soap opera As the World Turns from 1986 to 1995 and again from 1999 to 2007. (From 2000 - 2007, she played both characters simultaneously.)


Life and career

Tunie was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and grew up in Homestead,[1] the daughter of Evelyn (née Hawkins) and James W. Tunie.[2] She was raised in the funeral home of her father, who worked as an undertaker.

Tunie went to Carnegie Mellon University for acting and graduated in 1981.

Tunie is known to nighttime audiences for her roles on detective crime dramas. She played the recurring role of Lillian Fancy on NYPD Blue from 1994 to 1997. She briefly appeared as Alberta Green in the first season of 24 and played a power lesbian in an episode of Sex and The City.

Tunie joined the cast of As the World Turns as Jessica Griffin in 1986, and was involved in a number of front-burner storylines including an interracial romance and later marriage (a subject that was, in the 1980s, was less commonplace on soaps than it is today), and her character's being named District Attorney. She left the soap in 1995 to pursue other projects, but returned to As the World Turns as a recurring character in 1999.

In 2000, she joined the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as medical examiner Melinda Werner initially as a recurring character, and later becoming a series regular. She continued to appear on both As the World Turns and SVU simultaneously through 2007 (possible, as both series were filmed in New York City); in 2006, her character graduated from recurring to series regular on SVU (at that time, beginning to appear in the opening credits), and the following year she left As the World Turns.

Tunie started her career with bit parts in films like Sweet Lorraine and Wall Street. Her most notable role in film was in Eve's Bayou, in which she narrated the story. Other notable film credits include The Devil's Advocate and Snake Eyes.

Tunie has also produced the Tony Award-winning Broadway production Spring Awakening. She also sang "We Should Be Together For Christmas" for the A Soap Opera Christmas album.

Tunie has completed her directorial debut with the 2010 romantic comedy See You In September.


Year Film Role Notes
1987 Sweet Lorraine Julie
Wall Street Carolyn
1989 Bloodhounds of Broadway Cynthia Harris
1993 Rising Sun Lauren Smith
1996 Quentin Carr Detective
Rescuing Desire Van
City Hall Leslie Christos
The Money Shot
1997 Spirit Lost Anne
Eve's Bayou Narrator Voice
The Peacemaker Jody
The Devil's Advocate Mrs. Jackie Heath
1998 Snake Eyes Anthea
2001 The Caveman's Valentine Sheila
2007 AfterLife Nicole


Year Film Role Notes
1986 Spenser: For Hire Nina Episode: "Shadowsight"
1987-07 As the World Turns Jessica Griffin
1989 Family Feud Herself Episode: "The Young & the Restless vs. As the World Turns"
1993 Tribeca Tori Episode: "The Box"
Episode: "Honor"
1994-97 NYPD Blue Lillian Fancy Episode: "Up on the Roof" ('94)
Episode: "Good Time Charlie" ('94)
Episode: "Caulksmanship" ('96)
Episode: "Taillight's Last Gleaming" ('97)
Episode: "I Love Lucy" ('97)
1995 SeaQuest DSV Laura Episode: "The Siamese Dream"
Also known as SeaQuest 2032
1995-98 New York Undercover Janice/Lana Brooks Episode: ""Bad Girls" ('95 as Janice)
Episode: "Sign o' the Times" ('98 as Lana Brooks)
1996 Swift Justice Jessie McKenna Episode: "Bad Medicine"
Law & Order Caroline Bennett Episode: "Deadbeat"
Rebound: The Legend of Earl 'The Goat' Manigault Miss Marcus HBO TV film
1997 Prince Street Episode: "Pilot"
Feds Martha Kershan Episode: "Missing Pieces"
Chicago Hope Lennie Gaghan Episode: "Leggo My Ego"
1999 Sex and the City Eileen Episode: "The Cheating Curve"
2000 The American Experience Self Voice
Episode: "Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory"
2000–present Law and Order: SVU Dr. Melinda Warner Recurring 2000-2005, receives star billing as of 2005
2001 A Day's Work, a Day's Pay Narrator Documentary
2002 24 Alberta Green Episode: "9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m."
Episode: "10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m."
Episode: "11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m."
Episode: "12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m."
Episode: "1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m."
Episode: "2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m."
2003 Nefertiti: Resurrected Narrator Documentary
2005 I Love the '90s: Part Deux Herself VH1 Documentary
Party Planner with David Tutera Herself Episode: "Tamara Tunie's Fire & Ice Party"
The Tony Danza Show Herself Episode: "#1.124"
Law & Order: Trial by Jury Dr. Melinda Warner Episode: "Day"
2006 Black Sorority Project: The Exodus Spirit Documentary/voice
2008 After Hours with Daniel Boulud Herself Reality TV
Episode: "Bayona"
2010 Showing Up Herself Documentary


Year Film Role Notes
2010 See You in September Executive Producer and Director


  1. ^ Varley, Teresa (2009). "Talking Steelers Football with Tamara Tunie". Steelers Digest 22 (15): 25. 
  2. ^

External links

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