Tamlyn Naomi Tomita

Tamlyn Tomita

Tamlyn Tomita, a distinguished actress with Japanese American heritage, first captured attention with her memorable performance as Kumiko in “The Karate Kid Part II,” a role she notably revisited after 35 years in the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai.” Her career spans decades in the entertainment industry, where she has been a fixture on both the big screen and in prime-time TV shows. Her notable appearances include roles in “Four Rooms,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” and “The Good Doctor.”

What we know about this person

Full name:

Tamlyn Naomi Tomita

Date of birth:

January 27, 1966

Zodiac sign:

Aquarius

Birthplace:

Okinawa Island, Japan

Age:

58

Citizenship:

USA

Marital status:

Married to Daniel Blinkoff

Height:

5' 4" (1.63 m)

Weight:

115 lbs (52 kg)

Early life

Born on January 27, 1966, on Okinawa Island, Japan, Tamlyn Naomi Tomita is the daughter of Asako, a half-Filipino woman who settled in Japan during the turmoil of World War II. It was there that Asako encountered Shiro Tomita, an American of Japanese origin, in a resettlement camp. The couple married and later relocated to Los Angeles, where they started their family and where Tamlyn’s father pursued a career as a law enforcement officer.

Raised in the United States, Tamlyn was educated at Granada Hills Charter High School, harboring early ambitions to teach history. This aspiration led her to pursue history studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1984, during her college years, she embraced her cultural heritage by participating in the Nisei Week festival, an event dedicated to celebrating Japanese American culture, where she was honored with the title of “Miss Nikkei International.”

a-young-tamlyn-tomita

A young Tamlyn Tomita

a-young-tamlyn-tomita

A young Tamlyn Tomita

Career

Tamlyn Tomita launched her artistic journey in the 1980s, initially stepping into the spotlight as a model. Her victory at the Nisei Week festival catapulted her into the acting world with an audition for Kumiko in “The Karate Kid Part II,” a role that marked her breakthrough and had her acting alongside Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. This significant part led to a steady role as Ming Li in the television soap “Santa Barbara.”

By 1990, Tamlyn had secured a role in “Come See the Paradise,” a wartime drama featuring Dennis Quaid, where she portrayed Lily Yuriko Kawamura, a character deeply rooted in her heritage as the offspring of a Japanese immigrant and cinema proprietor. She further expanded her film repertoire with a role in “Picture Bride,” a Japanese-American collaboration. Both pieces earned their place at the Cannes Festival, contending for the prestigious Palme d’Or.

1995 saw Tamlyn in “Four Rooms,” a cinematic endeavor influenced by the creative minds of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, alongside stars such as Tim Roth, Antonio Banderas, and Madonna. Following this, she was cast in “The Burning Zone,” embodying Dr. Kimberly Shiroma across its 11-episode run.

Tamlyn’s career flourished with guest spots in series including “Murder, She Wrote,” “Seven Days,” and “Nash Bridges,” and in the early 2000s, she was featured in “JAG” as Lieutenant Tracy Manetti. 2004 introduced her as a meteorologist in Roland Emmerich’s disaster film, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Her versatility shone through with roles in “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate Atlantis” as Shen Xiaoyi, and she made several appearances in “General Hospital,” noted by the Guinness Book of Records for its longevity. Tomita’s talents continued to be showcased in “The Mentalist,” “Criminal Minds,” and “Private Practice.”

2008 featured Tamlyn in a supporting capacity in “The Eye,” alongside Jessica Alba and Chloë Moretz, and she later delved into the sci-fi realm with “Tekken,” inspired by the video game series. 2010 saw her returning to TV with a recurring role in “Law & Order: Los Angeles” as Miwako Nishizawa.

Between 2014 and 2016, she remained a fixture on television, guest-starring in “Days of Our Lives” and “Bones,” and holding regular roles in “Teen Wolf” and “Resurrection.” In 2017, Tamlyn was cast in “The Good Doctor” as Allegra Aoki, contributing to 23 episodes.

2020 found her in “Star Trek: Picard,” and the following year, she revisited her iconic role as Kumiko in “Cobra Kai,” a “The Karate Kid” sequel series unfolding 34 years after the original. The series enjoyed critical acclaim and multiple nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Emmys.

Tamlyn Naomi Tomita Movies and TV Shows

  • 2017–...

    The Good Doctor

    Allegra Aoki

  • 2014–2015

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Judge Carol Marrow

  • 2014

    Teen Wolf

    Noshiko Yukimura

  • 2013

    Bones

    Dr. Alice Crawford

  • 2009

    The Mentalist

    Lauri Medina

  • 2009

    Criminal Minds

    Dr. Linda Kimura

  • 2008–2010

    Heroes

    Ishi Nakamura

  • 2006–2008

    Stargate Atlantis

    Shen Xiaoyi

  • 2004

    The Day After Tomorrow

    Janet Tokada

  • 1995

    Four Rooms

    Wife

tamlyn-tomita-in-good-doctor

Tamlyn Tomita in Good Doctor

Tamlyn Tomita’s personal life

Tamlyn Tomita maintains a low profile when it comes to her private life. Her social media presence is strictly professional, focusing on her career and upcoming engagements. Despite the swirl of rumors surrounding her over the years, it was revealed in 2018 that she has tied the knot with Daniel Blinkoff. During her downtime, Tamlyn has a passion for exploring new places and delving into the world of literature.

Tamlyn Tomita now

As for her professional journey, Tamlyn Tomita’s acting career is as vibrant as ever. In 2023, she graced the Japanese-American series “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” with a special appearance, delving further into the epic narrative of Godzilla’s clash with the titans. Presently, Tomita is actively participating in the production of the new series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and showcasing her talent on the Broadway stage in the musical “Ultraman: Rising.”

Published: March 17, 2024
Updated: April 17, 2024
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