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Tamara Renee Tunie is an American film, stage, and television actress, director, and producer. She is best known for her portrayal of attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, and medical examiner Melinda Warner on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. From 2000 to 2007 (and again briefly in 2009 and 2010), she appeared on both series simultaneously. Tunie has also appeared in film, most notably playing the key supporting role of Margaret Thomason in the 2012 film Flight.
Tunie was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Homestead, the daughter of Evelyn (née Hawkins) and James W. Tunie. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to her roles on As the World Turns, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, she is also known for her recurring roles as Lillian Fancy in NYPD Blue (1994–1997) and as Alberta Green in the first season of Fox's 24. Tunie also guest-starred in many television series, including Spenser: For Hire, Tribeca, SeaQuest DSV, New York Undercover, Swift Justice, Feds, Chicago Hope, Sex and the City, and Law & Order: Trial by Jury "Survivor's Remorse".
Tunie worked twice with Al Pacino; she portrayed his press secretary in the 1996 film City Hall and the possessed wife of a partner in his law firm in the 1997 film The Devil's Advocate. Her other film credits include Wall Street (1987), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Eve's Bayou(1997), and The Peacemaker (1997).
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 novel of the same name, opposite Samuel L. Jackson. She won a Tony Award in 2007 for the production of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening and a Drama Desk Award.