Tia Carrere

Active - 1987 - 2018  |   Born - Jan 2, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Action, Crime, Thriller, Children's/Family

Share on

Biography by Jason Buchanan

Though her role as the unlikely girlfriend of the eponymous dunderheaded character in Wayne's World (1992) would propel actress/model/singer Tia Carrere into what was seemingly an overnight success, the multi-talented entertainer had been appearing onscreen and making a name for herself as a vocalist since the mid-'80s. A native of Oahu (born Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo) who received her primary education at the Sacred Hearts Academy, Carrere first gained recognition at the well-known local talent contest Brown Bags to Stardom. Despite her reputation as having as much brains as beauty, it was her stunning looks that first caught the attention of a film producer's parents while shopping at a Waikiki grocery store -- a chance encounter that ultimately led to her casting in the 1988 feature Aloha Summer.

Subsequently moving to Los Angles, it was no time before Carrere had landed frequent model work, and though an opportunity to take a leading role in Baywatch proved unbearably tempting, the aspiring actress ultimately held out in favor of an impressionable role in the 1992 runaway hit Wayne's World. In addition to her memorable comic performance, Carrare's ability to provide all of her own vocal work assured that the film would also be a vehicle for her vocal talents. The remainder of Carrere's work in the 1990s leaned more toward the comic, though her roles in the True Lies (1994) and Kull the Conqueror (1997) soon led to more action-oriented roles and increasing voice work in such efforts as Hercules (1998). In 1999 Carrere took the lead for her own television adventure series Relic Hunter (inspired by the success of the Tomb Raider video games), and during the series' three-year run she would also appear in the television miniseries Merlin (1999) and provide voice work for the Disney feature Lilo & Stitch as well as its sequel and television spin-off.

Carrere would continue to remain a constant force on screen over the coming years, memorably appearing on Dancing with the Stars, as well as on series like In Plain Sight. She's also maintained a successful career as a voice actress, providing the voices for characters on animated shows like Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Lilo & Stirch: The Series.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography


  • Competed on Star Search in 1985 but was eliminated after the first round.
  • Attended an all-girls Catholic high school.
  • Was discovered as a teenager in a grocery store in Hawaii.
  • Auditioned for Wayne's World by singing "Moon River" in a Chinese accent.
  • Debut album Dream went platinum in the Philippines.
  • Featured on the cover of the January 2003 issue of Playboy.
  • Appeared on the second season of Dancing with the Stars, paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy; came in sixth place.