Looking as though she hails from an Irish Spring commercial, green-eyed, dewy-skinned actress Robin Tunney became known in the 1990s for her work in a number of teen and independent films. A native of Chicago's South Side, where she attended Catholic high school, Tunney studied acting at the Chicago Academy for the Performing Arts. She spent her summers performing in such stage productions as Bus Stop and Agnes of God. At the age of 18, Tunney moved to Los Angeles, where she began finding work on various television shows.
The actress made her screen debut in the 1992 Brendan Fraser/Pauly Shore comedy Encino Man. She had her first lead role in the teen ensemble film Empire Records (1995), playing a suicidal record store employee who announces her presence in the film by walking into the store and shaving her head. A year later, Tunney starred as a member of a group of high school misfits who use witchcraft to take revenge on their tormenters in The Craft. Sort of a Sixteen Candles meets Carrie, the film proved to be a cult hit, particularly with teenage girls.
Tunney subsequently made her name in independent dramas and mainstream films alike, doing particularly strong work in Niagara Niagara, earning the Venice Film Festival's Volpi Cup for Best Actress, for her portrayal of a young woman with Tourette's Syndrome. In 1999, she entered into the realm of bloated budgets and equally bloated plot premises, starring as Satan's intended bride alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in End of Days. That same year, she played a 22nd century paramedic in Supernova, a sci-fi thriller that had her racing against time to escape from an exploding star. In 2000, she stared with Chris O'Donnell as a stranded mountain climber in the thriller Vertical Limit.