Childhood & Early Life
Michelle Renee Clunie was born on November 7, 1969, in Portland, Oregon, USA. She developed an interest in music and dance at a young age. She practiced ballet, tap, and jazz dance and also played the violin.
She received a scholarship to ‘The Academy of Professional Ballet,’ thanks to her impressive performance as a ballet dancer during her school days. She spent her teenage years at the academy where she studied ballet and worked as an apprentice.
At the age of 19, she sold her violin for $200 in order to move to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in acting. She was mentored by the late American director and producer Milton Katselas who taught acting to many aspiring actors at the famous ‘Beverly Hills Playhouse.’
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Clunie made her Los Angeles theatre debut at the ‘Skylight Theatre’ where she played a prominent role in Dean Orion’s ‘A Comedy of Eros.’ She won the ‘Dramalogue Award’ for ‘Best Actress’ for her impressive performance.
She continued performing in stage plays and won the ‘Backstage Readers Best Performance Award’ for playing Abby in the West Coast premiere of ‘The Mercy Seat.’ She even wrote and performed an Off-Broadway production titled ‘US’ which had its world premiere at New York City’s ‘Lion Theatre.’ Set against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential election, ‘US’ explores how people meet, communicate, and fall in love in the current century.
Clunie made her film debut in 1993 in the Adam Marcus-directed slasher film ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.’ In the same year, she played Jonesy in the Paul G. Volk-directed drama-thriller film ‘Sunset Strip.’
In 1995, she played a minor role in the Academy Award-winning neo-noir mystery film ‘The Usual Suspects.’ Directed by Bryan Singer, the film had Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, and Gabriel Byrne in important roles.
In 1996, she played Jennifer Brandt in one of the episodes of a science fiction television show titled ‘Space: Above and Beyond.’ She received her breakthrough role in the same year when she was cast to play DeeDee Landrow in ‘The Jeff Foxworthy Show.’
After playing minor roles in a string of television series, Clunie got an opportunity to play Gail in the 1999 romantic comedy film ‘Lost & Found.’ She then appeared in TV series, such as ‘Diagnosis: Murder,’ ‘Battery Park,’ and ‘V.I.P.’
She got her first main role in ‘Showtime’ networks’ drama series ‘Queer as Folk.’ The series increased her popularity as she appeared in 83 episodes from 2000 to 2005. From 2006 to 2007, she appeared in three television shows, namely ‘House M.D,’ ‘Without a Trace,’ and ‘The Closer.’
Clunie played the lead role in the 2008 drama-thriller film ‘Solar Flare.’ Directed by Fred Olen Ray, the film starred Tracey Gold and Chris Brochu in important roles. In the same year, she was cast to play another lead role in the award-winning drama film ‘Leaving Barstow.’
After playing minor roles in popular television series, such as ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘The Mentalist,’ Clunie received her first recurring role when she was cast to play Ellen Beals in the teen/family comedy-drama television series ‘Make It or Break It.’
In 2014, she played Tina Tralman in a mystery-drama television movie titled ‘Death Clique.’ Directed by Doug Campbell, the movie had Barbara Alyn Woods, Tina Ivlev, Lexi Ainsworth, and Brittany Underwood playing prominent roles. In the same year, she played Suzanne Levitt in one of the episodes of American procedural drama series ‘Bones.’
In 2015, she was cast to play Amy Hartinger in an independent film titled ‘A Sort of Homecoming.’ Directed by Maria Burton, the film premiered at the ‘Omaha Film Festival.’ It was also screened at ‘Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles’ and ‘Breckenridge Festival of Film’ where it won awards for ‘Best Director for Narrative Feature’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ respectively.
From 2015 to 2017, she played Mrs Finch in the television series ‘Teen Wolf.’ Developed by Jeff Davis for ‘MTV,’ the series was partially based on the 1985 film of the same name.
Clunie played Harper in the 2016 Emily Robinson-directed short comedy-drama film ‘Virgin Territory.’ Apart from Michelle Clunie, the film also stars Emily Robinson and Mel Shimkovitz in important roles. In 2018, she appeared in one of the episodes of the popular TV series ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’ Clunie is looking forward to playing interesting roles in television series and feature films.
Family & Personal Life
Michelle Clunie was born into a family of writers. Her mother’s cousin brother Jim Cash wrote many popular films, including the 1986 American action drama film ‘Top Gun’ which starred Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. Clunie’s brother is also a writer.
Clunie was in a relationship with actor Michael B. Silver. When she was cast to play Deborah in the 1993 film ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,’ she didn’t know that Michael B. Silver had been cast in the opposite role until she saw him on the sets of the film. Clunie and Silver had broken up a year before ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ went on floors.
Clunie has been friends with popular director Bryan Singer since 1989. She was involved in an intimate relationship with Bryan Singer for a brief period. In October 2014, it was reported that Clunie was expecting a child with Bryan Singer. On January 5, 2015, she gave birth to their son Dashiell Julius William.
Clunie has been involved in many humanitarian works. In 2009, she hosted the first fund-raiser for the ‘National Equality March’ in Washington, D.C. In 2015, she was chosen as the ambassador for ‘Global March to Equality’ organized by ‘Pride Nation.’