TIA CARRERA Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Althea Janairo was born January 2, 1967, in Honolulu, Hawaii. A mix of Hawaiian, Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino ancestry, young Althea is the eldest of two siblings. We know her today as Tia since her younger sister Alesaundra had difficulty pronouncing Althea’s name. Now with an easier name - Tia - the aspiring singer changed her last name to Carrera, apparently as a tribute to the actress Barbara Carrera.


By the age of 11, Tia was taking voice lessons to fulfill her dreams of becoming a singer, but fate played its part and Tia was discovered by the parents of a film producer while in a Waikiki grocery store, who thought she’d be perfect for their son’s film, Aloha Summer. With a desire to take her new acting career further, Tia headed to Los Angeles. While there, Tia had also begun to develop a modeling career, while several bit parts came her way.


She appeared in popular television shows such as The A-Team, MacGyver, but hit it big when she was cast in the recurring role of nurse Jade Soong Chung, in the daytime soap, General Hospital in 1985. After her 2-year nurse stint, Tia’s television resume was gradually increasing, and included appearances in Tour of Duty, Anything But Love, Friday the 13th, and Quantum Leap, as well as credits in Made-for-TV movies such as Noble House, The Road Raiders and Fine Gold.


Tia then made the leap to the silver screen with film roles in Showdown in Little Tokyo (where she had a body double appear nude for her) and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, both in 1991. But it was after she co-starred with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in the comedy Wayne’s World in 1992 (a role she chose over Baywatch), that American audiences really took notice of the Hawaiian beauty. As Wayne’s dream girl, aspiring rock star Cassandra, Tia made it clear that she’s worthy of a schwing or two. Tia contributed several songs to the film’s soundtrack, which wasn’t such as stretch for the vocalist.


She had musical experience as the former vocalist of a rock band and a jazz orchestra. She even released her debut album, Dream, which didn’t end up doing too dreamily, expect for in the Philippines. Tia then joined Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes to star in Rising Sun, and reprise her role of Cassandra in the 1993 sequel to the hugely successful Wayne’s World. In 1994, Tia appeared as Juno Skinner in the Schwarzenegger hit True Lies, and appeared in the films Treacherous and Hostile Intentions that same year.


By the time she starred in the comedy High School High in 1996, Tia had already completed at least 15 films, and she was on her way to even more film and television roles. In 1997, Tia co-starred with Hercules star Kevin Sorbo in Kull the Conqueror, and provided her voice for Disney’s animated television version of the film Hercules. In 1998, she made a cameo appearance in the film 20 Dates, for which she also served as executive producer.


Tia can presently be seen as Sydney Fox in the action television series Relic Hunter, and starring in the film Shi (a.k.a. Shi: The Way of the Warrior). The talented “megababe” lives in Los Angeles, where she is an active supporter of charitable organizations such as Planned Parenthood.