Robin Tunney

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Robin Tunney
Tunney at a ceremony for Simon Baker to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013
BornRobin Jessica Tunney
(1972-06-19) June 19, 1972 (age 41)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Years active1992–present
Spouse(s)Bob Gosse (1997–2006)
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Robin Tunney
Tunney at a ceremony for Simon Baker to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013
BornRobin Jessica Tunney
(1972-06-19) June 19, 1972 (age 41)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Years active1992–present
Spouse(s)Bob Gosse (1997–2006)

Robin Jessica 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–present), 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 Prison Break (2005–06).

Early life[edit]

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 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 is currently starring opposite Simon Baker in the CBS drama series The Mentalist, playing Teresa Lisbon.

Personal life[edit]

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. She played for The Children's Health Fund, which received $200,000 for her efforts. In August 2006, Tunney played in the World Series of Poker after having her entrance fee covered by the online cardroom


Film and television
1992Encino ManElla
1992Perry Mason: The Case of Reckless RomeoSandra TurnerTV movie
1993JFK: Reckless YouthKathleen 'Kick' KennedyTV movie
1993CuttersDeborahTV series
1994Law & OrderJill TempletonEpisode: "Mayhem"
1995Empire RecordsDebra
1996The CraftSarah Bailey
1996Riders of the Purple SageElizabeth 'Bess' Erne, Oldring's Masked Rider/Daughter
1997Julian PoSarah
1997Niagara, NiagaraMarcy
1998Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two FamiliesMelvina 'Malka' Csizmadi
1999End of DaysChristine York
2000Vertical LimitAnnie Garrett
2000SupernovaDanika Lund
2001Investigating SexZoe
2002The Secret Lives of DentistsLaura
2003Abby SingerHerself (Cameo)
2003The In-LawsAngela Harris
2003The Twilight ZoneEdie DurantEpisode: "Developing"
2004PaparazziAbby Laramie
2004HouseRebecca AdlerPilot episode
2004Shadow of FearWynn French
2005The ZodiacLaura Parish
2005–2006Prison BreakVeronica DonovanSeason 1, and the season 2 episode "Manhunt"
2006HollywoodlandLeonore Lemmon
2006The Darwin AwardsZoe
2006Open Window[12]Izzy
2008The Burning PlainLaura
2008The Two Mr. KisselsNancy Kissel
2008–presentThe MentalistTeresa LisbonTV series
2009Passenger SideTheresa
2012See Girl RunEmmie

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearNominated workAwardCategoryResult
1997The CraftMTV Movie AwardsBest Fight (shared with Fairuza Balk)Won
1997Niagara, NiagaraVolpi CupBest ActressWon
1999Niagara, NiagaraIndependent Spirit AwardsBest Female LeadNominated
2001Vertical LimitBlockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Actress – ActionNominated
2006Open WindowBoston Film FestivalFestival PrizeWon
2009The MentalistPeople's Choice AwardsBest New Series (shared with Simon Baker, Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang)Won


  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". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-06-24. "...her compulsion to tackle tough parts range from her Irish-Catholic background..." 
  5. ^ "My Irish dad would pretend to be a gay hairdresser!". Independent. March 19, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Robin Tunney:Biography". Movies MSN. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  7. ^ a b Crowder, Courtney (2010-09-21). "Palos Heights native wears a smile on CBS' 'Mentalist'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  8. ^ Weiner, Carey (March 22, 1998). "Up and Coming: Robin Tunney; a young best actress takes the plunge in 'Niagara, Niagara'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  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)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]