Since making her professional debut in the soap opera Guiding Light, actress Tammy Blanchard has risen through the ranks to become one of Hollywood’s most respected actresses. With multiple Tony and Golden Globe nominations under her belt, her name on the credits is enough to give any project the stamp of approval. Find out more with these ten little facts.
1. Six of One and Half a Dozen of Another
Until Netflix’s edgy, dramatic feature film, Tallulah (2016), Blanchard was best known for her comedic roles on stage. Asked by Broadway World if she had a preference between the two genres, the actress struggled to choose. “I feel like comedy is definitely more fun,” she shared “It’s so great to have people laugh at what you’re doing while you’re performing, especially on a stage. But drama has its benefits too because I just did this movie “Warning Shot” in Texas, and the cameraman was crying, so the aftereffect of doing something dramatic to have someone say, ‘you changed my point of view’ or ‘you changed the way I feel about something’ – that’s very special”
2. The Yellow Brick Road to Success
Blanchard made her professional TV debut in 1998 in the soap opera, Guiding Light. In 2001, her captivating portrayal of a young Judy Garland catapulted her into the big time, with critics heaping her performance with praise and even rewarding her efforts with a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress (not to mention a nomination for a Golden Globe). Since then, she’s built up an impressive list of TV credits, with some of her most notable appearances coming in the likes of The Big C, Billions, and The Good Wife.
3. Sixth Grade Dreams
Blanchard’s ambitions can be traced all the way back to sixth grade when she performed on stage for the first time with a solo rendition of “Over the Rainbow” in an assembly program. The reaction of her friends and family convinced the shy student that her future lay on the stage. “It was like a way for me to express what I was feeling, all the joy and hope that I really had in my heart as a child and it was a way to bring joy to my family,” Blanchard told The Riverview Observer. “That’s when I realized, wow, maybe I can do this.”
4. Just a Small-Town Girl
Blanchard was born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, and, despite the pressure to move west for the sake of her career, has resisted the lure of LA for the attractions of her hometown. “They all told me I had to move to the west coast to be in movies and TV,” she told The Young Folks, “and I just quoted Frank Sinatra and told them “I’m going to do it My Way, it’ll take longer but it will be worth it in the end.”
5. A Broadway Sensation
It’s not just on TV and film that Blanchard has dazzled. In 2003, she made her Broadway debut in a revival of Gypsy, playing the title role opposite Bernadette Peters. Her performance wowed audiences and critics alike, and by the time the run was over, she’d picked up both a Tony Award nomination and a Theatre World Award. Subsequent stage successes have included her portrayal of Hedy La Rue in the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (which earned her a 2nd Tony nomination), Cora in The Ice Man Cometh, and Audrey in the Off-Broadway production revival of Little Shop of Horrors.
6. Film Glory
In 2002, Blanchard made her big-screen debut in Stealing Harvard. Since then, she’s enjoyed major roles in a string of big hitters, including Rabbit Hole (2010), in which she played Nicole Kidman’s younger sister, Union Square (2011), the award-winning Into the Woods (2014), The Invitation (2015) Tallulah (2016), and Warning Shot (2018).
7. Dreaming on a Global Scale
Now that Blanchard’s achieved her childhood dream of becoming a major movie star, what’s next for the actress? According to an interview she gave with Riverview Observer, her next big dream is to start giving back. “I want to build homeless shelters, stock the shelves with food and employ the mothers and fathers,” she says. “This is a big dream I had when I was a little girl. I remember my mom struggling to get by cleaning other people’s homes. I always felt compassion for single mothers with children. I’ve always wanted to help.”
8. Motherly Love
If there’s one woman that can take the credit for Blanchard’s success (other than the actress herself, of course), it’s her mother. It was her mother that encouraged her shy daughter to compete in the Miss Teen New Jersey Pageant, and her mother who subsequently drove her to auditions all around New York when a talent scout at the pageant spotted the young Blanchard’s talent and signed her to his books. “My mom would scrape 20 bucks together and we would drive into New York for an audition,” Blanchard recalled to The Riverview Observer. “It was a broken-down car and she would sit in the car for hours, waiting for me to come down from my audition. She would do anything for me.”
9. Family Life
Away from the stage, Blanchard lives a quiet life in her hometown of Bayonne, New Jersey. Tammy was once married to Damon Chasmer. She currently lives alone with her daughter Ava in Bayonne New Jersey. As of this writing she’s still single.
10. Going with the Flow
Considering the wise decisions she’s made throughout her career (her resume basically reads like a list of “The Greatest TV Shows and Films of the 21st Century), you’d have thought Blanchard was working to a firm plan. As it turns out, she’s much more a “go with the flow” person than you’d imagine. “I don’t really have a career plan,” she confessed to Theatre Mania. “There’s no joy for me to just be a personality in my work and I feel that that’s so much of what’s out there. I always like to play roles where I either love the character or think that it’s a story that I can tell better than anyone else. There are always reasons for me to do whatever I do.”