February 25, 2017

Tonantzin Carmelo, Tongva / Kumeyaay


Tonantzín Carmelo is an American actress descending on her mother’s side from Tongva and Kumeyaay Native Americans of Southern California.

She grew up performing in a Native American dance troupe led by her mother, Virginia Carmelo. Her father is a Latin musician. Tonantzin Carmelo is a traditional Aztec dancer and pre-Columbian musician, and has recorded 3 CDs with Canyon Records. She sings lead and back up vocals with the band Trio Del Alma.

Tonantzin  received her BA from UC Irvine in Environmental Anaysis and Design with a minor in Dance.

Native Actress Tonantzin CarmeloCarmelo honed her acting craft in a myriad of professional theater productions, and is a member of the LA based professional theater company Native Voices, most recently as Lisa Yellowtree in the world premiere production of Carbon Black.

She has since appeared in theater productions and independent films such as Victoria Roubideaux in Eventide at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and as Ms. Yellowtree in Carbon Black at Native Voices at the Autry. 

Carmelo’s acclaimed stage roles include Anita in Exmagare, Christina Khalo/Paula in Frida Khalo, and multiple characters in Malinche.

She established herself as a leading actress with her break-out performance as Thunder Heart Woman in the Emmy-winning Steven Spielberg miniseries, Into the West and  made her mark as a motion-capture/voice-over artist playing the villainous Kendra Daniels in the EA Game franchise Dead Space, which sold over two million copies. She adds to her voice-over credits by taking on the lead role of Roxanne in Ubisoft’s The Crew

Carmelo is an award-winning and multifaceted actor who is cast in Westerns, Sci-fi, and everything in between. Her diverse body of work includes lead and supporting roles in over a dozen indie features films, most notably in the festival favorites Imprint, Unearthed, and Shouting Secrets. She topped the “The Hot List” of must-see native actors in the national news publication Indian Country Today.

Her prime-time television guest-starring credits include CSI, Dragnet, and Dark Blue and American Dad! She is in national commercials and starred in the feature film King Rikki with Jon Seda and Mario López.

Along the way she has garnered numerous awards and nominations including a coveted Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in Dreamworks’ Into the West; Best-Actress awards and nominations for Imprint at the Hoboken International Film Festival (nomination), American Indian Film Festival (two nominations, and one win), and many others.

Maxim Magazine also named her character Kendra Daniels on a list for the Hottest Video Game Babes of the year.

Tonantzín is an Emerging Voice with the California Indian Storytellers Association and a mentor for the Native Voices Youth Playwright Project.

Official Website


2016 Medicine Men (post-production)
Mrs. Sault

2016 Teen Wolf (TV Series)
Skinwalker #3 / Black Night

– Apotheosis (2016) … Skinwalker #3
– The Beast of Beacon Hills (2016) … Black Night
– Codominance (2016) … Skinwalker #3
– Damnatio Memoriae (2016) … Skinwalker #3

2016 Lego Marvel’s Avengers (Video Game)
Maya Lopez / Echo (voice)
2015 Z Nation (TV Series)

– We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon (2015) … Kuruk

2015 Entertainment
2015 The Revenant (ADR voice)
2014 The Crew (Video Game)
Roxanne (voice)
2014 Child of Grace
2014 The Activist
Anna Ward
2010-2013 American Dad! (TV Series)
Navajo Woman / Sooleawa’uha

– The Boring Identity (2013) … Navajo Woman (uncredited)
– There Will Be Bad Blood (2010) … Sooleawa’uha (voice)

2011/II Periphery
2011 Shouting Secrets
2011 Cowboys & Aliens (ADR voice – uncredited)
2009 Freedom Riders (TV Series)
2009 Shadowheart (Video)
2009 Dark Blue (TV Series)

– Pilot (2009) … Gina

2009 American Experience (TV Series documentary)

– We Shall Remain: Part I – After the Mayflower (2009) … Awashunk

2008 Dead Space (Video Game)
Kendra Daniels (voice)
2007 Unearthed
2007 CSI: Miami (TV Series)
Adrienne Veston

– Bloodline (2007) … Adrienne Veston (as Tonantzín Carmelo)

2007/I Imprint
Shayla Stonefeather
2006 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (TV Special)
2005 Into the West (TV Mini-Series)
Thunder Heart Woman

– Dreams and Schemes (2005) … Thunder Heart Woman
– Manifest Destiny (2005) … Thunder Heart Woman
– Wheel to the Stars (2005) … Thunder Heart Woman

2003 Dragnet (TV Series)
Erika Sanchez

– Coyote (2003) … Erika Sanchez

2003 187 Shadow Lane
2002 King Rikki


Native Actors & Movies
About nativelady

Leave a Reply