Tamlyn's father, Shiro Tomita, was interned at the Manzanar Relocation Center during World War II.
In 1985 she was named Miss Nikkei International.
She won an Asian Media Award at the 2001 Asian American International Film Festival.
In the July 18, 1991 issuePeople magazine, Tamlyn was named number 25 of the '50 Most Beautiful People in the World.'
Until Spring 2006, she dated The Summer Moon co-star Greg Watanabe.
Her father is Japanese and her mother is half-Filipino and half-Japanese, making Tamlyn one quarter Filipino.
Her height is 5' 2" (1.57m).
Tamlyn was the 1984 Los Angeles Nisei Week Queen.
Tamilyn was a history major at UCLA before leaving to pursue acting.
Tamlyn: I look at a person, ok this one probably in his 40s I'll refer to Karate Kid, if it's a woman 25-40 I'll say Joy Luck Club. If it's a young teenager, it's Glee.
Tamlyn: 25 years ago I was known as the Karate Kid Girl, and now I'm known as the Glee mom. If you want any more evidence that 25 years have passed, there you go.
Tamlyn: Being the eldest of my family, you encounter that paragraph in the history books: 110,000 Japanese Americans were interned during World War II. I said, 'What? Dad, did this happen to you?'
Tamlyn: I only think of love and I did not find my charming prince yet.
(about her character on The Burning Zone)
Tamlyn: I am Kimberly Shiroma, a medical legist. I enormously like this kind of strong woman. I am attached to this character as never yet with my other roles.
(about wanting to be a journalist)
Tamlyn: My objective was to change, by my articles, the opinion of people about Asian women.
Tamlyn: I think with actors unless we're super successful - like a Tom Hanks or a Julia Roberts - we're always itinerant workers. It's from job to job.
Tamlyn: I still get that, "Oh, are you that girl from 'Karate Kid'"?
Tamlyn: I'm always thinking about sex. I love sex.
Tamlyn: I don't know where the glamorous image comes from. People have also told me that they thought I was aloof at first. I admit that I can be those things, but maybe it comes from the fact that I'm probably more of a private person than I think I am. But I'm a lot more things than the roles I've played.
Tamlyn: The main thing I look for in choosing a project is just a good story.
Tamlyn: But yea, in my career, I've done great projects, I've done sucky projects, but each one I've done for a reason, even for the lowest kind of common denominator to pay the rent or pay my bills. But there are those wonderful jewels.
(about the roles she's played)
Tamlyn: Well, the first one's always going to be the most special one. Karate Kid 2, which I did before I even knew I was going to be an actor, and I just did it on a fluke. Because I majored in history, I wanted to become a teacher. And what I found out in the process of creating a character, learning the story, figuring out what are you trying to say, what is the message that's underlying, what is your agenda. I mean, you're trying to fulfill something, you're trying to give, you're trying to teach, you're trying to educate people that there are stories out there that can't be overlooked.
Tamlyn: Let's just make up the whole interview, I mean, a thousand words on me? What can you possibly write about?