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Tamala Jones

Lanie, © 2009-2010 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

Tamala Jones plays Medical Examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, Detective Kate Beckett's best friend, on Castle.

She described how she got the part of Lanie in an interview for Regard magazine: "My character "Lanie Parish" was actually written for a Caucasian actress, but my agent and manager along with myself were all in agreement that I needed to step out of the box a little bit. I auditioned for the role in the pilot and I booked it. "Lanie" was only supposed to be a guest star with a possible recurring role. The show got picked up by ABC for 13 episodes and by that time it was pilot season again. I was still auditioning for other pilots when I heard the news of the pick-up & was about to network test for another pilot. My team called ABC to let them know that I was about to test for another show & ABC put a stop to that, with an offer as a series regular role on what is now one of ABC's highest-rated shows."[1]

When she was 23 years old and working on the TV show, For Your Love, she suffered a brain aneurysm. Despite the entire right side of her body being numb and without the use of her right arm, she completed the last day of shooting for the season on the show then went to the hospital. "The doctor was shocked that I was walking, talking, or was even alive. The aneurysm had burst...Between my grandmother and the great doctor at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, I healed in three months and went back to work on The Wood." As a result of the experience, Tamala very much wants to portray Motown signer Tammi Terrell who died from a malignant brain tumor at 25 years old. "I feel such a bond with her...I have to get this story out to tell people no matter what age you are, if you feel something and it's not right, go to the doctor. You know, you're not a robot. There's something wrong, your body tells you when something's wrong. It's not to be overlooked and I had these headaches for two weeks. I took everything and it just wouldn't go away."[2]

Regarding working on the show in general, Tamala said the following: "I am surrounded by not just great actors but the crew, producers and the writers. We are all a really big family and we all love each other. You walk on that set and it just not work for us. We really are a unit. We do special things for each other all the time, not because we have to but because we want to. We worry about each other. I make cookies for them. It is such a great atmosphere to be apart of. I am humbly happy and totally blessed to be involved with these people." [3]

Mini-Biography[edit]

Born November 12, 1974 in Pasadena, California. She has two younger brothers.[4]

Selected Filmography[edit]

  • JJ in Busted (2009)
  • Regina in The Janky Promoters (2009)
  • Mrs. Watson in Who's Deal? (2009)
  • Nikki in The Hustle (2009)
  • Chapter Leader Renee in Show Stoppers (2008)
  • Keisha in American Dream (2008)
  • Kim Hinton in Daddy Day Camp (2007)
  • Shannon in Who's Your Caddy? (2007)
  • Tory Adams in Confessions (2006)
  • Margaret Wright in Long Distance (2005)
  • Clorie in Nora's Hair Salon (2004)
  • Lisa Clark in Head of State (2003)
  • Jackie in On the Line (2001)
  • Tracey Johnson in Two Can Play That Game (2001)
  • Sheila West in The Brothers (2001)
  • Nadine in Kingdom Come (2001)
  • Theresa in The Ladies Man (2000)
  • Laura Leeton How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (2000)
  • Kia in Turn It Up (2000)
  • D'wana in Next Friday (2000)
  • Janiece in Blue Streak (1999)
  • Tanya in The Wood (1999)
  • Girlfriend #2 in Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
  • Nikki in Booty Call (1997)
  • Anna's Great-Grandmother in How to Make an American Quilt (1995)

TV Appearances[edit]

  • Everybody Hates Chris - Darlene in episode 4.15, "Everybody Hates Boxing"
  • My Name is Earl - Liberty Washington in episode 2.16 (B.L.O.W.), episode 3.9 ("Randy in Charge: Of Our Days and Our Nights"), and episode 3.10 ("Midnight Bun")
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - Claire in episode 1.17, "The Disaster Show"
  • CSI: Miami" - Katie Watson in episode 5.9, "Going, Going, Gone"
  • Ghost Whisperer" - Amy Wright in episode 2.3, "Drowned Lives"
  • Love, Inc. - Terri in episode 1.4, "Bosom Buddies"
  • One on One - Tonya in 9 episodes
  • The Tracy Morgan Show - Alicia Mitchell in 18 episodes
  • For Your Love - Bobbi Seawright in all episodes
  • ER - Joanie Robbins in episode 1.17 ("The Birthday Party"), episode 1.24 ("Motherhood"), and episode 8.1 ("Four Corners")
  • Veronica's Closet - Tina in 8 episodes
  • Malcolm and Eddie - Caroline in episode 2.11, "Two Men and the Baby"
  • JAG - Nia in episode 1.12, "The Brotherhood"
  • The Wayans Bros. - Wanda in episode 2.1 ("Shawn Takes a New Stand") and episode 2.7 ("Scared Straight")
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Tiffany in episode 6.6, "Not I, Barbecue"

Trivia[edit]

  • Like her co-star Molly C. Quinn, is 5' 4" tall.[5]
  • Has appeared in three music videos: for "Give It Up, Turn It Loose" by En Vogue, with actresses Carmen Electra and Taraji Henson for "Girls, Girls, Girls" by rapper and mogul Jay-Z, and "Independent" by rapper Webbie, where she played a female African-American President of the United States.
  • Has said repeatedly that she thinks Pam Grier should be cast as Lanie's mother.[6]
  • Worked as a model before becoming an actress.[7]
  • Once took an acting class with Brittany Murphy, Seth Green, and Jamie Pressly that was taught by Ernie Lively, Blake Lively's father.[7]
  • To help remember Lanie's complicated medical jargon, she admits she sings her lines: "I learn by singing it! I can remember the words to anything if they're in a song."[8]
  • Lists TV shows Camelot, True Blood, and American Idol as her "TV guilty pleasures."[4]
  • Her parents were such fans of music, that she was named after Tamla Records, a "sister" record company founded by Berry Gordy before he founded the Motown label.[2]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Regard Magazine, issue 5, text (c) 2010 Dimitry Loiseau
  2. 2.0 2.1 Interview on The Mo'Nique Show June, 2011
  3. "The Desk of Brian.com", Interview by Mike Gencarelli, posted February 9, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Tamala Jones Dishes on Girl Time With Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion's Sensitive Side", Wetpaint.com, by Ian Spiegelman, posted May 11, 2011
  5. Tamala Jones' biography at the Internet Movie Database [1]
  6. "Interview: Castle Co-Stars Nathan Fillion & Stana Katic The Futon Critic, written by Jim Halterman, posted 11/15/2010
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Castle's Tamala Jones on her career, the show, and one line auditions!" Daily Actor.com, by Lance Carter, posted February 1, 2011
  8. "What's Next for Castle's Crew", page 19, TV Guide, Feb. 28-March 6, 2011