Worked With:

Joseph Morgan

Nina Dobrev

Xavier Samuel

Rachel Hurd-Wood

Britt Robertson

Melissa Leo

Phoebe Tonkin Biography

Home > Actresses > T > Tonkin, Phoebe > Biography

Birth Name: Phoebe Tonkin

Phoebe Jane Elizabeth Tonkin was born on July 12, 1989 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Beginning at age four, she took dance classes - everything from classical ballet to contemporary dance to hip-hop - and began acting at age12 when she attended Queenwood School in Balmoral, recognized for its prestige drama department. Around the same time, the future star also trained at the Australian Theatre for Young People, including taking Shakespeare and Musical Theatre courses. Tonkin made her onscreen acting debut on the Australian teen series "H2O: Just Add Water" in 2005, in one of the lead roles as Cleo, a 16-year-old who transforms into a mermaid when she comes into contact with water. Her two best friends Rikki and Emma (Caribe Heine and Claire Holt) also developed the power to turn into mermaids. Tonkin's character began the series as the shy and awkward of the three, but eventually developed into a confident young woman. With no professional swimming experience prior to the show, Tonkin worked on her skills in the water in preparation her role. Tonkin further made her mark on Australian television with guest roles on the family drama "Packed to the Rafters" (Seven Network, 2008- ) and the long-running soap "Home and Away" (Seven Network, 1988- ). She also appeared in a number of commercials and modeled for magazines, including Teen Vogue and Dolly before making her film acting debut in action-adventure film "Tomorrow, When the War Began" (2010). Based on the 1993 young adult novel by John Marsden, the film followed eight teenagers defending their town against a powerful army of foreign invaders.

Having established a solid career footing in her native land, Tonkin set her sights on Hollywood. She moved to Los Angeles in 2011 and was cast that same year on The CW series "The Secret Circle." The supernatural drama, based on the novel series by L.J. Smith, focused on a coven of young witches living in the fictional town of Chance Harbor, WA. Tonkin played the free-spirited and flirty witch Faye opposite fellow newcomers Britt Robertson and Shelley Hennig. Her character was a hit with viewers and critics, and even helped the Australian actress make it on E! Online's list of Breakout TV Stars. However, "The Secret Circle" failed in the ratings and was cancelled after one season. Series creator Kevin Williamson saw Tonkin's potential and cast her on his already established hit show "The Vampire Diaries" shortly after. Also based on a popular book series by Smith, "Diaries" was fueled by the love triangle between protagonist human Elena (Nina Dobrev) and vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Tonkin joined the cast in season four as the werewolf Hayley, who assists werewolf-turned-hybrid Tyler (Michael Trevino) plan a revolution to cure vampirism and break the sire bond. "The Vampire Diaries" also reunited Tonkin with her former co-star Claire Holt, who played one of the show's Originals. So popular was this family, their characters were spun off onto their own show in 2013. The proposed New Orleans-set drama would revolve around Holt's bloodsucking clan as well as a featured part for Tonkin's Hayley, who was in cahoots with vampire Klaus (Joseph Morgan).

By Candy Cuenco