What is Tamlyn Tomita doing now?

You may remember Tamlyn Tomita from The Karate Kid, Part II (1986) as the sprightly young girl who danced with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Maccio) in the scene above. Since then, Tamlyn has become one of the few Asian-American actresses that “remained in the game” for over two decades. See what she’s doing now.Tamlyn’s IMDB page contains 70 total entries for her acting roles. Since her acting debut in 1986, Tamlyn has played Waverly Jong in The Joy Luck Club (1993), Kana in The Picture Bride, Janet Tokada in The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and a few characters in hit televisions series such as “24,” “JAG” and “Will & Grace, “Babylon 5,” and “The Burning Zone.”

Two of those 70 acting roles include a film and a television program in post-production, meaning that 41-year-old Tamlyn is still working – a feat for any actress, moreso for an Asian actress in America.

Tamlyn (birthdate: January 27, 1966) was born on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan, and raised in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. She majored in history at UCLA before pursuing acting. Tamlyn is Japanese and a quarter Filipino. She was named Queen at the Nisei Week Pageant in Los Angeles in 1984, Miss Nikkei International in 1985, and one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People magazine in 1991. Her NNDB page notes that she is a smoker.

One of her most recent projects was “My Life Disoriented,” which aired on PBS’ “Independent Lens” series in December 2006. It is about two high school-aged Asian-American sisters who adjust to moving to a new city, which means making new high school friends midsemester and dealing with the social pressures of being one of only a few Asians at the small Californian high school. It touches on sensitive race issues for Asian-Americans, including – as the clip below shows – a term much debated in the fora, “twinkie.”

Tamlyn plays Vivian, the girls’ aunt. Check out this dinner scene, and catch beautiful actresses Di Quon (as Kimberly), Karin Anna Cheung (as Aimee), and Hira Ambrosino (as Helen Fung, the mom) rocking the small screen:

Photos of Tamlyn are extremely difficult to find – there are very few stills of her from movies and, in spite of her People mention, she hasn’t posed in any magazines that I know of nor does she have an official website – it seems that she has purposely limited her internet presence. Below, in order: stills of her nude scene in The Killing Jar (1996), a still of her character Mary Takata in Only the Brave (2005), and a photo of her with fans (taken from the fan’s personal page):

Tamlyn Tomita

Tamlyn Tomita

Tamlyn Tomita

Tamlyn Tomita on the web:
Tamlyn Tomita @ imdb.com
Tamlyn Tomita @ asiaarts.ucla.edu (interview)
Tamlyn Tomita @ nndb.com

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0 thoughts on “What is Tamlyn Tomita doing now?”

  1. i have to say – off topic – that i’m really pleased with the diversity that i sense will emerge on the front page now that robin has posted a few things, and it would be really interesting to see what happens as the year progresses and my posts are less frequent (because of school) and there are more posts by different bloggers on the front – it would be cosplay, entertainment/accomplished asian women, import models, and personal flickr page/youtube finds all rolled into one fine blog. a siren for every reader, indeed! 😀

  2. I’d love to see Killing Jar, but it doesn’t appear to be available on DVD. IMDB rates it only 3.7 which is horrid. I’d see it just for the nude scene.

    She still looks hot, in a MILFy sorta way.

  3. Tamlyn looks fantastic in the second vid; we should be seeing more of that.
    In the middle photo she reminds me of Joan Chen in “Saving Face”–talk about milfy!

  4. I sat through The Killing Jar twice just to see that nude scene (the first time just because she was in it, the second time to record the scene on a now-misplaced VHS tape). That scene is the only redeeming feature of the movie, although it’s way too short. I can’t even remember what the rest of the movie was about.

    I fell in love with her, so to speak, in Karate Kid II, and I was surprised that she did the nude scene in The Killing Jar. I had seen her in Come See the Paradise before, but couldn’t remember much about it and wasn’t sure if it was her or a body double. There’s no doubt it’s her in The Killing Jar. 😉

  5. Tamlyn Tomita is pure class. And that is the reason she has had staying power in Hollywood. I have never seen anything with her in it that disappointed. My favorite with Tamlyn — “Come See The Paradise.” She played a remarkable role but more importantly she was in most of the scenes. Not only is she beautiful but she is outspoken, candid, and comes across as a real person who values her privacy. She doesn’t have to do anything but be herself to leave her mark.

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