Tamblyn was born in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of Russ Tamblyn, an actor, dancer, and singer who starred in the 1961 film of West Side Story, 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.
Early guest starring roles include: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (playing Janice Penshaw, the best friend of Dawn Summers), on Boston Public, CSI: Miami, and Punk'd (where Ashton Kutcher and his crew members tricked her into losing someone else's dog).
In 2007, Tamblyn starred in the CBS pilot Babylon Fields, an apocalyptic comedic drama about the undead trying to resume their former lives. The CBS network excluded the show from its Fall 2007 programming lineup, since it would have competed with the network's other undead-themed drama, Moonlight.
In spring 2009, Tamblyn starred in The Unusuals, playing NYPD homicide detective Casey Shraeger in this notably acclaimed crime drama. The show was canceled after its first season.
In November 2010 until April 2011, Tamblyn starred as medical student Martha M. Masters, in a story arc of the seventh and eighth season in the medical procedural drama House M.D.
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 2009 Other nominations include The Teen Choice Awards, The Golden Satellite Awards and The Young Artist Award. Her successful spell on House M.D., which was cut short by family needs, ended with her having multiple nominations for her final performance as Martha Masters.
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, Rachel Dratch, and Parker Posey.
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 C. Brown. In 2008, she was featured in the Write Bloody Publishing anthology, The Last American Valentine: Illustrated poems to seduce and destroy.
Tamblyn appeared 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, was published in September 2009 by San Francisco's Manic D Press.
Beginning in October 2009, Tamblyn began blogging for the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet. She is currently working on a new book of poems supported by the artwork of Marilyn Manson due out in 2013
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 1960s rock band The Standells.
Tamblyn and comedian and actor David Cross were rumored to have been dating as early as April 2008, but did not officially step out as a couple until 2009. The two became engaged on August 17 2011.
Amber Tamblyn - what members say
review by from Liverpool, UK
Quality emotional drama. 30 May 2005
Amber Tamblyn - filmography
Amber Tamblyn facts
5 most recent films127 Hours - Blu-ray - 3.5 stars
127 Hours - 3.5 stars
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - 3.0 stars
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 - 3.5 stars
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - Blu-ray - 3.0 stars
5 highest-rated films127 Hours - 3.5 stars
Joan Of Arcadia - The First Season - 3.5 stars
127 Hours - Blu-ray - 3.5 stars
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 - 3.5 stars
Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants - 3.0 stars
5 lowest-rated filmsI'm Still Here - 0.5 stars
The Russell Girl - 3.0 stars
Joan of Arcadia - The Second Season - 3.5 stars
Blackout - 2.5 stars
The Grudge 2 - 2.5 stars
Most frequent co-starsBlake Lively - 5 times - show films
Rachel Ticotin - 5 times - show films
America Ferrera - 5 times - show films
Alexis Bledel - 5 times - show films
Norman Lehnert - 3 times - show films
Most frequent directorsAki Kaurismaki - 4 times - show films
Werner Herzog - 4 times - show films
Ken Kwapis - 3 times - show films
Danny Boyle - 3 times - show films
Jim Jarmusch - 3 times - show films