Tonantzin Carmelo Bio - Biography

Name Tonantzin Carmelo
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Famous for
Tonantzin (pronounced tow nawn tseen) Carmelo began her acting career in theater. Her first paid gig was a musical theater anti-smoking show that toured schools throughout Los Angeles. From there she soon garnered critical acclaim for her stage roles in world premier plays such as Malinche, Exmagare, and the Equity productions of Jump Kiss and Please Do Not Touch the Indians.

Carmelo began her film career as the lead actress in Street Kings, and to date she has played lead roles in four independent films, including 187 Shadow Lane; Unearthed, a sci-fi thriller; and Imprint, a supernatural thriller produced by Chris Eyre and Linn Productions.

On television Carmelo guest starred in the prime time television show Dragnet before landing the lead role of Thunder Heart Woman in the Steven Spielberg mini-series Into the West. For this role Carmelo received various awards as well as a prestigious nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress in a TV Movie, a category that included distinguished actresses Joanne Woodward, Robin Wright Penn, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Cynthia Nixon.

Carmelo comes from a "working class" performance background. From the age of four she performed Aztec Indian dances with her mother and stepfather throughout North America. Also a technically trained dancer, she toured with the Modern Dance Company Daystar in college. Her biological father, a composer and musician, regularly performs Latin style music. Tonantzin's own musical gifts have been featured in three CDs from Canyon Records, on which she performed as a vocalist and percussionist. In her spare time Tonantzin still enjoys performing with both her parents as a dancer and a singer.

On her mother's side Carmelo is a descendant of the original people of the Los Angeles Basin (the Tongva). She currently resides on her ancestral land, where she enjoys hiking, bike riding, and the multicultural California cuisine.

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