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Amber Tamblyn

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Amber Tamblyn

Amber Tamblyn
Born Amber Rose Tamblyn
(1983-05-14) May 14, 1983
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present

Amber Rose Tamblyn (born May 14, 1983) is an American actress and poet. She first became recognized for her role on the soap opera General Hospital as Emily Quartermaine followed by a starring role on the television series Joan of Arcadia portraying the title chracter Joan Girardi. She has branched out into film roles, appearing in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and The Grudge 2. Her most recent work includes a co-starring role in the film 127 Hours with James Franco and she has recently joined the main cast of the medical drama House portraying the character Martha M. Masters.

Early life

Tamblyn was born in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Russ Tamblyn, an actor, dancer, and singer, and Bonnie Murray, a singer, teacher, and artist. Her paternal grandfather, Eddie Tamblyn, was a vaudeville performer. She attended the Santa Monica Alternative School House, which, in her words, was ”very unorthodox, no letter grades". At the age of ten, she played Pippi Longstocking in a school play; her father's agent, Sharon Debord, was attending as a family friend and ended up convincing her father to allow Tamblyn to go on auditions.


Tamblyn's first TV role was Emily Bowen (later known as Emily Quartermaine) on the soap opera General Hospital, a role that she played for six years (from 1995 to 2001). She also starred in the pilot episode of the revived Twilight Zone series on UPN in 2002.

Tamblyn became better known playing Joan Girardi, a teenage girl who receives frequent visits from God, on the CBS drama series Joan of Arcadia. Tamblyn's father made several appearances as God in the form of a dog walker on the show, which ran from 2003 to 2005.

Tamblyn was supposed to return to CBS in the 2007 pilot Babylon Fields, an apocalyptic comedic drama about the undead trying to resume their former lives. However, the network excluded the show from its Fall 2007 programming lineup, since it would compete with the network's other undead-themed drama, Moonlight.

Tamblyn starred in The Unusuals, playing NYPD homicide detective Casey Shraeger in this notably acclaimed crime drama. The show was canceled however after just one season.

Notable guest roles include Buffy the Vampire Slayer (playing Janice Penshaw, the best friend of Dawn Summers), as well as Boston Public, CSI: Miami, and Punk'd (where Ashton Kutcher and his crew members tricked her into losing someone else's dog).

Tamblyn guest-stars as medical student Martha M. Masters, in multiple episodes of the seventh season of medical drama House.

Awards and nominations

The role of Joan Girardi earned her both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations in 2004. Tamblyn was also nominated for a Saturn award for Best Actress In a Television Series in both 2004 and 2005, winning in 2004 Other nominations include The Teen Choice Awards, The Golden Satellite Awards and The Young Artist Award.


Tamblyn launched her film career playing bit parts in her father's movies: Rebellious and Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard. She also appeared in 1995's Live Nude Girls.

Her first major film role was in 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, co-starring Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Blake Lively. She also starred in its 2008 sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

Her horror film career began with the opening scene of 2002's The Ring. Tamblyn also appeared in the Japan-set The Grudge 2, a sequel to The Grudge. The film, which also stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, was released on October 13, 2006, and debuted in the #1 spot at the North American box office. In August 2006, Tamblyn won the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival for her performance in the title role of Stephanie Daley. The film, which also won an award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, features Tamblyn as a 16-year-old who kills her baby moments after giving birth in the bathroom of a ski resort. She was also nominated for Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film also stars Tilda Swinton and Timothy Hutton. She also starred in Blackout in 2007.

In January 2008, Tamblyn appeared in the Hallmark movie, The Russell Girl about a woman suffering from disease and mental anguish.

Tamblyn appeared in the 2009 film Spring Breakdown, also featuring Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch.

Tamblyn appeared alongside Orlando Bloom, Colin Firth, and Patricia Clarkson in the 2010 film Main Street, a drama set in North Carolina. That year, she also had a role in the drama 127 Hours, with James Franco.


Tamblyn has self-published two chapbooks of poetry, Of the Dawn and Plenty of Ships, and has participated in poetry readings at various venues, particularly in California. The Loneliest, a poem book inspired by Thelonious Monk and his music, was published in 2005 and contains haiku poetry written by Tamblyn and coupled with collages by George Herms. Only 300 copies of the book were published.

In 2005, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing published a book of poems that she wrote over the span of seven years entitled Free Stallion. The School Library Journal's review states that, "Free Stallion is a compilation of poetry that amounts to a portrait of the artist as a teenager.... Many of the selections are appropriately self-absorbed but move beyond journalistic catharsis to real insight and stunning language for one so young."

In October 2006, Tamblyn did several poetry readings in California, including a few with poet Derrick Brown. In 2008, she was featured in the Write Bloody Publishing anthology, The Last American Valentine: Illustrated poems to seduce and destroy.

Tamblyn appears in a poetry concert film recorded on August 4, 2007 in Los Angeles, "The Drums Inside Your Chest." Premiere date: April 26, 2009 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

A new collection of poetry, Bang Ditto, is forthcoming in September 2009 from Manic D Press.

Beginning in October 2009, Tamblyn began blogging for the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet.

Personal life

She is the daughter of actor Russ Tamblyn, best known for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and West Side Story. She is the goddaughter of actors Dean Stockwell and the late Dennis Hopper and musician Neil Young. Her uncle is Larry Tamblyn, who was the keyboardist in the '60s rock band The Standells. Tamblyn is dating comedian and actor David Cross.



Year Title Role Notes
2002 The Ring Katie Embry
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet Kate Segment "Twelve Miles To Trona" ,

directed by Wim Wenders.

2005 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Tibby Rollins
2006 The Grudge 2 Aubrey Davis
Stephanie Daley Stephanie Daley Retitled "What She Knew" for US television release.
2007 Blackout Claudia
Normal Adolescent Behaviour Wendy
Spiral Amber
2008 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Tibby Rollins
The Russell Girl Sarah Russell Hallmark movie.
2009 Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Ella Crystal
Spring Breakdown Ashley Direct-to-video release.
One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur Herself Interviewed about the writing of Jack Kerouac, specifically in the book Big Sur.
2010 Main Street Mary Saunders
127 Hours Megan

TV series

Years Title Role Notes
1995–2001 General Hospital Emily Bowen Quartermaine #1 Portrayed the role from 20 January 1995 to 11 July 2001. Replaced by Natalia Livingston
2001 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Janice Penshaw Guest Star: S06E06 "All the Way".
2002 The Twilight Zone (2nd revival) Jenna Winslow Guest Star: S01E01 "Evergreen"
2003–2005 Joan of Arcadia Joan Girardi Regular: Cancelled after second season.
2003 Without a Trace Clare Metcalfe Guest star: S01E16 "Clare de Lune"
2007 Babylon Fields Janine Wunch Cancelled before airing.
2009 The Unusuals Detective Casey Shraeger Regular: Cancelled after first season.
2009 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Girl Pilot episode.
2010-present House, M.D. Martha M. Masters Medical student recruited by Cuddy to work with House
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