"I don't know if casting directors go, 'Hey, we've got another suicide! Let's call Robin Tunney.' It's weird, but they're all different, and I guess it gives the characters some kind of power. At least I play women who are strong enough to take the power into their own hands, and kill themselves! So many women in films should just shoot themselves in the head anyway, because they're not really there for any reason." Robin Tunney
American actress Robin Tunney gained praise after portraying a young woman with Tourette syndrome in Bob Gosse's independent film Niagara, Niagara (1997). She won the 1997 Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and an Independent Spirit nomination in 1999. Tunney also received notice for playing suicidal newcomer Sarah Bailey in Andrew Fleming's supernatural The Craft (1996), in which she earned the MTV Movie Award, shared with costar Fairuza Balk. She is also well remembered for playing roles in such films as Allen Moyle's ensemble movie Empire Record (1995), Julian Po (1997, also starring Christian Slater), Arnold Schwarzenegger's End of Days (1999), the sci-fi thriller Supernova (2000, opposite James Spader), Martin Campbell's Vertical Limit (2000, with Chris O'Donnell), Alan Rudolph's Investigating Sex (2001, along side Nave Campbell and Nick Nolte), the comedy thriller Cherish (2002, opposite Jason Priestly), the comedy film The In-Laws (2003) and the action thriller Paparazzi (2004, costarring Cole Houser).
As for her private life, 5' 4" tall Tunney divorced Niagara, Niagara's director Bob Gosse in 2002 after a five-year marriage. Fans can catch Tunney in the more recent and forthcoming The Zodiac (2005), Runaway (2005), Window (2005) and Truth, Justice, and the American Way (2006). She will also be seen in the television series "Prison Break" (2005).
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of a car salesman father and a bartender mother, Robin Tunney was born on June 19, 1972, in Chicago, Illinois. While growing up in Chicago's South Side, she attended a Catholic High School at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. She continued to study acting at the Chicago Academy of Performing Arts and the Second City Players Workshop in Chicago.
Robin began her career as a child performer in commercials in her hometown. She also appeared in local theater in such productions as "Bus Stop," "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" and "Agnes of God." While studying acting, she also worked as a model. Upon graduation, Robin moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
In 1997, Robin met and fell in love with director Bob Gosse while on the set of Niagara, Niagara. Within a few months of knowing each other, they were married on October 4, 1997. They divorced in 2002.
Robin Tunney entered the spotlight as a kid performer in local commercials in her hometown. She started acting in a number of stage production in Chicago and had her first television role as Hannah in the made-for-TV movie Frog (1987) before heading for Hollywood at the age of eighteen. After the relocation, she reprised the role of Hannah in the feature film Frogs (1991), appeared as the best friend in the CBS School break special But He Loves Me (1991) and played Sandra in the television film Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless omeo (1992).
Tunney played popular high school student Ella in Brendan Fraser/Pauly Shore's comedy Encino Man (1992), appeared as a regular in the short-lived CBS sitcom "Cutters" (1993, played manicurist Deborah Hart), starred as Kathleen Kennedy, opposite Patrick Dempsey, in the ABC miniseries "JFK: Reckless Youth" (1993), and landed guest spots in such television shows as "Life Goes On" (1991), "Class of '96" (1993, played a recurring role), "Dream On" (1993) and "Law & Order" (1994).
The young actress gained notice for her good performance in Allen Moyle's Empire Record (1995, portraying Debra, a desperate record store employee) and a frontier woman in TNT's television film Riders of the Purple Sage (1996, also with Amy Madigan and Ed Harris).
Landing her first starring role, alongside Fairuza Balk and Nave Campbell, in Andrew Fleming's supernatural The Craft (1996), Tunney garnered attention for playing Sarah Bailey, the susceptible newcomer to the coven of young witches. The film was a success in the box office and Robin won the 1997 MTV Movie award for Best Fight (shared with costar Fairuza Balk).
Venturing to independent films, Tunney's breakout role arrived when she was cast as Marcy, a young woman with Tourette syndrome, in director Bob Gosse's critically acclaimed Niagara, Niagara (1997).
Her outstanding performance in the film handed her the Venice Film Festival's Volpi Cup for Best Actress in 1997, as well as a nomination for Best Actress at the 1999 Independent Spirit Awards.
Robin went on to costar with Christian Slater in Julian Po (1997), joined Stanley Tucci and Kyra Sedgwick in Montana (1998) and starred as Satan's intended bride in Peter Hyams' End of Days (1999, also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne and Kevin Pollak). She was also involved in the television movies Rescuers: Stories of ourage: Two Families (1998) and Naked City: Justice with a Bullet (1998).
Portraying Danika Lund, a 22nd century paramedic, in the sci-fi thriller Supernova (2000, opposite James Spader) was Tunney's opening film project in the new millennium. She next had an unaccredited part in Bread and Roses (2000) before playing the lead role of Annie Garret, a mountain climber who is trapped in an ice cave, in Martin Campbell's Vertical Limit (2000, opposite Chris O'Donnell). Robin then rejoined Nave Campbell in Alan Rudolph's Investigating Sex (2001, also starring Nick Nolte).
In the comedy thriller Cherish (2002), Tunney received rave reviews for her fine performance as fantasy prone animator Zoe. Cherish screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Robin then worked again with director Alan Rudolph in The Secret Lives of Dentists (2002) and delivered an unforgettable performance as Angela Harris in the comedy The In-Laws (2003).
Tunney continued to add to her resume such roles as Laura Parish in The Zodiac (2005, formerly In Control of All Things), Wynn French in Shadow of Fear (2004), and Cole Houser's beautiful wife, Abby Laramie, in the action thriller Paparazzi (2004). Tunney will also be seen in Tim McCann's Runaway (2005, as Carly), Open Window (2005) and Truth, Justice, and the American Way (2006). Besides movies, Robin is scheduled to portray Veronica in the television series "Prison Break" (2005).
- Venice Film Festival: Volpi Cup, Best Actress, Niagara, Niagara, 1997
- MTV Movie: Best Fight, The Craft; shared award with Fairuza Balk, 1997