Tara Thornton

played by Rutina Wesley


Classically-trained actress Rutina Wesley is currently co-starring in the HBO series 'True Blood,' a critically acclaimed series from producer Alan Ball based on the popular series of novels 'Southern Vampire,' in a world about vampires living amongst humans buying synthetic blood and living in the South. Rutina plays the role of Tara, best friend to Anna Paquin's Sookie Stackhouse.

Rutina, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, made her film debut starring as the lead in the Paramount Vantage/MTV Films, 'How She Move,' from British director Ian Rashid.The film received high praise and Rutina's performance was singled out in numerous publications.

Since graduating from the Drama Division of the esteemed Juilliard School in May 2005, Rutina has amassed some high quality credits for her resume. She completed a starring run of 'In Darfur' at the NY Public Theatre. Prior to that, Rutina made her Broadway debut playing a role in the high profile production of 'The Vertical Hour,' by playwright David Hare and directed by Sam Mendes.

Upon graduation from school, Rutina was a part of the pre-Broadway workshop of the Tony nominated musical 'The Color Purple.' While in school at Juilliard, Rutina got her first taste of Hollywood being cast in a small role in the film 'Hitch,' starring Will Smith and Eva Mendes.

In addition to her studies at Juilliard, Rutina also spent a summer studying Shakespeare at the well-known and well-respected Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. While in the program, Rutina landed the highly sought after role of Juliet in a production of 'Romeo and Juliet' directed by Nona Sheppard. While at Juilliard, Rutina took part in various productions including 'MacBeth' (Dir: Rebecca Guy), 'Richard III' (Dir: PJ Paparelli), 'The Winter's Tale' (Dir: Richard Feldman), 'The Marriage of Figaro' (Dir: Timothy Douglas), 'Rebel Armies Deep into Chad' (Dir: Reggie Life), 'In the Blood' (Dir: Sam Gold) among many others.

Rutina attended the University of Evansville where she received her BFA in Theatre Performance and prior to that she attended the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. She currently resides in New York and Los Angeles.