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Robin Tunney

Robin Tunney
Tunney at a ceremony for Simon Baker to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013
Born Robin Tunney
(1972-06-19) June 19, 1972
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Bob Gosse (1997-2006)

Robin Tunney (born June 19, 1972) is an American actress. She is known for her role as Teresa Lisbon in the television series The Mentalist (2008–2015), as well as previous roles in the films Encino Man (1992), Empire Records (1995), The Craft (1996), End of Days (1999), Supernova and Vertical Limit (2000), and the television series Prison Break (2005–06).


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Tunney was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a car salesman father, and a bartender mother.[1][2] Tunney is Irish American;[3][4] her father was born in Straide, County Mayo, Ireland, while her maternal grandparents were from Clare Island.[5] Tunney grew up in Orland Park, a southwest suburb of Chicago. She was raised Roman Catholic,[4] attended Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park and the Chicago Academy for the Arts in Chicago,[6] and resided in Palos Heights, also in the Chicago area.[7] She is a cousin of Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney.[7]


At the age of 19, Tunney moved to Los Angeles, California, and obtained several recurring television roles on Class of '96, Law & Order, Dream On, and Life Goes On. She gave her breakthrough performance as a suicidal teenager in Empire Records (with a shaved head) and attracted further attention by playing a witch in The Craft.

In 1997, Tunney starred in (her husband at the time) Bob Gosse's Niagara, Niagara with Henry Thomas in a performance which garnered her the Best Actress award Volpi Cup at the 1997 Venice International Film Festival. Tunney also was featured opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1999 supernatural action film End of Days.

She starred in the pilot episode of House as a kindergarten teacher who collapses before her class and descends into aphasia; she was credited as a "special guest star". She portrayed Veronica Donovan on the first season of Prison Break, credited third after two main characters, and left the show after the premiere episode of the second season. She had a minor role in the film August released on July 11, 2008. Tunney also starred opposite Simon Baker in the CBS drama series The Mentalist, playing Teresa Lisbon.

Personal life

Tunney married producer and director Bob Gosse on October 4, 1997;[8] they divorced in 2006. In 2009, Tunney was engaged to Australian writer and director Andrew Dominik[9] but they called off their engagement by August 2010.[10] Tunney became engaged to interior designer Nicky Marmet on December 25, 2012, while on vacation in Rio de Janeiro.[11]

On June 28, 2006, Tunney won the fifth table of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown's eighth season, finishing ahead of Christopher Meloni, Macy Gray, Joy Behar, and Andy Dick, moving on to the final cut. The finale aired on July 5, 2006, where she competed against Jason Alexander, Michael Ian Black, Ida Siconolfi, and Keegan-Michael Key. Tunney came in second, behind Alexander, earning $200,000 for The Children's Health Fund. In August 2006, Tunney played in the World Series of Poker after having her entrance fee covered by the online cardroom


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1992 Encino Man Ella
1992 Perry Mason: The Case of Reckless Romeo Sandra Turner TV movie
1993 JFK: Reckless Youth Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy TV movie
1993 Cutters Deborah TV series
1994 Law & Order Jill Templeton Episode: "Mayhem"
1995 Empire Records Debra
1996 The Craft Sarah Bailey MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Fairuza Balk)
1996 Riders of the Purple Sage Elizabeth 'Bess' Erne, Oldring's Masked Rider/Daughter
1997 Julian Po Sarah
1997 Niagara, Niagara Marcy
1998 Montana Kitty
1998 Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Families Melvina 'Malka' Csizmadi
1999 End of Days Christine York
2000 Vertical Limit Annie Garrett
2000 Supernova Danika Lund
2001 Investigating Sex Zoe
2002 The Secret Lives of Dentists Laura
2002 Cherish Zoe
2003 Abby Singer Herself (Cameo)
2003 The In-Laws Angela Harris
2003 The Twilight Zone Edie Durant Episode: "Developing"
2004 Paparazzi Abby Laramie
2004 House Rebecca Adler Pilot episode
2004 Shadow of Fear Wynn French
2005 The Zodiac Laura Parish
2005 Runaway Carly
2005–2006 Prison Break Veronica Donovan Season 1, and the season 2 episode "Manhunt"
2006 Hollywoodland Leonore Lemmon
2006 The Darwin Awards Zoe
2006 Open Window[12] Izzy
2008 August Melanie
2008 The Burning Plain Laura
2008 The Two Mr. Kissels Nancy Kissel
2008–2015 The Mentalist Teresa Lisbon TV series
2009 Passenger Side Theresa
2012 See Girl Run Emmie
2015 My All American Gloria Steinmark

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1997 MTV Movie Awards Best Fight (shared with Fairuza Balk) The Craft Won
1997 Volpi Cup Best Actress Niagara, Niagara Won
1999 Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead Niagara, Niagara Nominated
2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress – Action Vertical Limit Nominated
2006 Boston Film Festival Festival Prize Open Window Won
2009 People's Choice Awards Best New Series (shared with Simon Baker, Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang) The Mentalist Won
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Crime Drama TV (shared with Simon Baker, Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang) The Mentalist Nominated
Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress [13] Nominated


  1. ^ "Robin Tunney Biography (1972?-)". Film Reference. 
  2. ^ McGavin, Patrick Z (July 5, 1998). "It's All An Act". Chicago Tribune. 
  3. ^ Burgerstein, Jonathan (March 1998). "Fly, Robin Hood, flyperpa". Interview. 
  4. ^ a b Hughes, Scott (1999-12-05). "Robin Tunney's angst-ridden roles".  
  5. ^ "My Irish dad would pretend to be a gay hairdresser!". Independent. March 19, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Robin Tunney:Biography".  
  7. ^ a b Crowder, Courtney (2010-09-21). "'"Palos Heights native wears a smile on CBS' 'Mentalist.  
  8. ^ Weiner, Carey (March 22, 1998). "'"Up and Coming: Robin Tunney; a young best actress takes the plunge in 'Niagara, Niagara.  
  9. ^ Zuckerman, Suzanne (May 2009). "Actress Robin Tunney on How to Speak Your Mind". Women's Health. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ Morrison, Mark (August 2010). "Robin's Green Shades". In Style Magazine. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (February 5, 2013). "Exclusive: Robin Tunney, the Mentalist star, engaged to Nicky Marmet". Us Weekly. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Open Window (2006)".  
  13. ^ "Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 

External links

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