Family & Companions
Having had her start at an early age, actress Amber Tamblyn jumped into the limelight at 10 years old and never looked back, playing the popular character, Emily Quatermaine, for six years on the soap opera, "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ). But it was her starring turn on the short-lived, but acclaimed "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2003-05) that provided the young actress with her breakout role. Because of that show's brief success, Tamblyn was able to branch out into feature films, most notably in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" (2005), which proved to be a strong stepping stone for bigger and better projects. Following a supporting turn in "The Grudge 2" (2007), she spread her wings in the bleak adult drama "Stephanie Daley" (2007) before returning to familiar ground with "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" (2008). While a return to series television with the quirky cop drama, "The Unusuals" (ABC, 2009), failed to live up to expectations, Tamblyn proved versatile in the courtroom drama "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" (2009) and the stark survival drama "127 Hours" (2010), allowing her to boost her profile while demonstrating a wider range of appeal.
Born on May 14, 1983 in Santa Monica, CA, Tamblyn was raise by her father, Russ Tamblyn - an actor who starred in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954) and was best known for playing Riff in "West Side Story" (1961) - and her mother, Bonnie, a folk singer. At 10 years old, Tamblyn was performing the lead in "Pippi Longstockings" at the Santa Monica Alternative School House, when an agent in the audience found himself impressed with her performance. Soon she found herself starring on "General Hospital," proving not only popular with fans, but with critics as well, winning two consecutive Hollywood Reporter Young Star Awards as Best Young Actress in a Daytimes Series. Also at the time, Tamblyn appeared in her first feature film, a small role in "Live Nude Girls" (1995), starring Dana Delany and Kim Cattrall. While she maintained her stay on daytime, Tamblyn wisely branched out to primetime, making guest appearances on "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" (The WB/UPN, 1997-2004), "Boston Public" (Fox, 2000-04) and "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12).
In 2001, Tamblyn left "General Hospital" and appeared in her second feature, "The Ring" (2002), as Naomi Watt's niece, Katie who meets a horrific fate. The remake of the Japanese horror flick, "Ringu" (1999), became a surprise hit for Tamblyn, which led to her next series, "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2003-05), about a family whose daughter (Tamblyn) is frequented by God in various human forms. The series was initially embraced by viewers looking for an intelligent, well-written drama espousing traditional values. But the quality of the show suffered in its second season, resulting in its early demise. It did, however, earn Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations in 2004. Meanwhile, Tamblyn began snagging leading roles in feature films, starting with "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" (2005). The blossoming star played Tibby, the sardonic member of a group of close childhood friends (Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Blake Lively) who spend their first summer apart, but manage to stay connected by sharing an unusual pair of blue jeans that strangely fits their differing shapes.
With her star on the rise, Tamblyn began landing roles in higher profile fare. She starred opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the horror sequel, "The Grudge 2" (2006), while expanding her range in "Stephanie Daley" (2007) as a 16-year-old girl accused of infanticide following what she believed was a still-born birth. Her performance was well-received on the festival circuit, where she won a Leopard for Best Actress at the 2006 Locarno International Film Festival while earning a nomination for Best Supporting Female at the Independent Spirit Awards. Following a starring turn in the indie thriller "Blackout" (2008), Tamblyn returned to familiar territory for "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" (2008), which managed to rekindle the previous winning chemistry between the four leads. Turning back to television, she starred in two small screen movies, "Normal Adolescent Behavior" (Lifetime, 2007) and "The Russell Girl" (CBS, 2008), before taking another stab at series television with "The Unusuals" (ABC, 2009), a quirky cop show in which she starred as a seemingly incorruptible officer from a wealthy family who is tasked with cleaning up a precinct full of misfits. Though praised by critics for its offbeat humor, "The Unusuals" failed to attract enough eyeballs to avoid cancellation.
Back on the big screen, Tamblyn had a supporting role in the direct-to-DVD spring break comedy, "Spring Breakdown" (2009), which she followed with a more serious turn in the courtroom-themed neo-noir, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" (2009), starring Michael Douglas. After a guest starring appearance in the pilot episode of cable sitcom, "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" (IFC, 2010- ), Tamblyn joined the cast of "House" (Fox, 2004-2012) in a recurring capacity. She next had a supporting role in "127 Hours" (2010), director Danny Boyle's graphic and intense portrayal of Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who became famous for cutting off his own arm at the wrist with a pen knife after his hand became trapped by a loose boulder that crushed it. Tamblyn played a hiker who, along with her friend (Kate Mara), encounters Ralston before the accident occurs. Tamblyn followed up with the indie drama, "Main Street" (2011), which focused on the colorful characters of a tight-knit North Carolina community, and starred the likes of Colin Firth, Orlando Bloom, Patricia Clarkson and Ellen Burstyn. She next had a small supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti Western, "Django Unchained" (2012), which starred Jamie Foxx as a vengeance minded slave who helps a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) hunt down two killers in exchange for his freedom and a reunion with his wife (Kerry Washington). Just prior to that film's release, Tamblyn married long-time (and nearly 20 years older) boyfriend, comedian David Cross, in October 2012 follow a year-long engagement. The surprisingly well-matched twosome had been dating since 2008, though they had kept that knowledge secret for about a year.
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Caught the eye of an agent after a performance in "Pippi Longstocking"
Originated the role of Emily Bowen Quartermaine on the day-time soap opera "General Hospital"
Co-starred with her father, actor Russ Tamblyn, in the fantasy adventure "Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard"
Cast in breakout film role in the thriller "The Ring"
Starred as a teenager who finds herself confronted daily by God in "Joan of Arcadia"; earned Golden Globe (2003) and Emmy (2004) nominations for Best Actress in a Drama
Co-starred in the coming-of-age story "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" playing Tibby
Co-starred in "The Grudge 2," a sequel to the 2004 remake directed by Takashi Shimizu
Portrayed a 17-year-old accused of infanticide in the indie feature "Stephanie Daley"; earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Supporting Female
Starred in the Lifetime movie "Normal Adolescent Behavior"
Reprised role of Tibby in the sequel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2"
Joined the cast of the comedy feature "Spring Breakdown"
Appeared on multiple episodes of the FOX medical drama "House" as med student Martha Masters
Cast opposite Colin Firth and Orlando Bloom in the small-town drama "Main Street" (lensed 2010)