Kids everywhere try to play “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” at slumber parties and every Halloween, and we can thank Robin Tunney and the cast of The Craft for that.
Whether you wanted to be the leader like Nancy or could sympathize with the new girl Sarah, the cult classic is still as loved today as when it came out decades ago. If you’ve wondered what magic Robin has been up to since her witchy days, let’s call the four corners and find out.
This Midwest woman was born in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois, on June 19, 1972, to parents Cathy, a bartender, and Patrick Tunney Sr, a car salesman. As her father is Irish and her mother a first-generation Irish American, Robin was raised Catholic along with her siblings, Susan and Patrick Jr. And, yes, Robin has both Irish and US citizenship, so she’s more awesome than the rest of us. But we knew that.
Tunney also has the brains behind the beauty, as she attended the elite Chicago Academy for Arts with actress Lara Flynn Boyle (childhood pals) and went on to graduate from Saint Ignatius College Prep, also in Chicago.
While at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, Robin found the love of the stage and was in productions like Agnes of God and Bus Stop. But her move from Chi-town to Los Angeles when she was 18 years old was a smart one, as she started getting those TV roles immediately.
Some of Tunney’s first roles were on television, starting with roles in the CBS Schoolbreak Special and on Life Goes On in 1991. The following year Robin would catch a breakout role in the comedy Encino Man with the amazing Brendan Fraser and Sean Astin. It is still such a great watch if you haven’t seen it.
For the next few years, Robin would pop up on shows like Class of ’96, Cutters, Dream On, and Law & Order. In 1995, Tunney was cast as Debra in the cult classic coming-of-age film Empire Records, with an outstanding cast of Liv Tyler, Renee Zellweger, and Anthony LaPaglia, to name a few.
You can’t find a millennial alive that doesn’t have their favorite witch from the 1996 cult supernatural film The Craft. Whether you identify as Nancy or Bonnie, want to be the one to call Earth or Fire, love a great movie to watch for Halloween, or can’t stop using the phrase, “We are the weirdos, mister,” the film has it all.
It has a packed cast with Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Never Campbell, Rachel True, Skeet Ulrich, Breckin Meyer, and Christine Taylor.
Fun fact time. Robin’s hair in the film is actually a wig because she had just shaved her head for her role in Empire Records.
Robin played Sarah Bailey, the new girl in school who knew she had the power to do unusual things. She befriended Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle, and their coven was complete. Sarah goes on to realize the girls want to take things farther than she signed up for, and not to ruin the film, but Sarah is the only sane one in the end. Relax… it’s only magic.
Career after The Craft
Tunney kept on working after her days calling on Manon ended. She appeared on TV shows like The Twilight Zone and House before landing a larger role on the show Prison Break for 23 episodes during seasons one and two as Veronica.
On the big screen, Robin had roles in films like Julian Po with Christian Slater in 1997, End of Days with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1999, and Vertical Limit with Chris O’Donnell and Bill Paxton in 2000. Other 2000s notable films for Tunney include The In-Laws, The Zodiac, Runaway, and The Burning Plain with Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Basinger, and Charlize Theron.
In 2008 Robin landed a spot in the cast of the drama series The Mentalist, which followed the extremely observant Patrick Jane, played by Simon Baker, as he used his “psychic” abilities to help solve crimes. Robin portrayed his boss, Teresa Lisbon, former leader and senior agent of the Serious Crimes Unit for the California Bureau of Investigation turned FBI agent.
The pairing of Jane and Lisbon gave us everything we wanted. We had friendship – love to hate and hate to love – and that romantic undercurrent that every police drama needs. For all 151 episodes across all seven seasons, Robin and Simon delivered, but don’t sleep on Tim Kang’s performance in the series.
Robin got in a few movie credits while filming The Mentalist, like the drama Passenger Side in 2009, the drama See Girl Run in 2012, the drama (we see a pattern here) My All American in 2015, the thriller Looking Glass with Nicolas Cage, and the horror thriller Monster Party in 2018.
What is Robin Tunney up to now?
Robin’s last feature film released was the 2020 psychological drama Horse Girl starring Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, and Paul Reiser. On the small screen, she had a main role in the series The Fix in 2019, but it was canceled after one season. She unfortunately had a repeat problem in 2023 with the series Dear Edward.
She also uses her Instagram account to post adorable family pics and throwbacks for the fans.
Robin was first married to director Bob Gosse in 1997, whom she met while filming Niagara, Niagara. The pair called it quits, separating in 2002 and finalizing their divorce in 2006. Though they weren’t destined to stay married, the two are still friends.
Tunney had a brief engagement to director and writer Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly, Blonde) from 2009 until 2010.
Third time’s a charm as Robin found her magical ending with interior designer Nicky Marmet. The pair became engaged in 2012 and have two children, son Oscar Holly, born in 2016, and daughter Colette Kathleen, born in 2020.
With a streak of having a project hit a screen from 1991 until 2016 – darn you, 2017! – you could say that Robin Tunney has that special something. We hope she brings her powers to the 30th anniversary of The Craft in a couple of years. Blessed be.