Tamara Tunie (born March 14, 1959) is an American film, stage, and television actress, director, and producer. She is known for her portrayal of attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns and of medical examiner Melinda Warner on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. From 2000 to 2017, in 2018, and briefly in 2009 and 2010, she appeared on both series simultaneously (Tunie returned to Law and Order: Special Victims Unit for one episode in 2018). In 2018, she also played the role of Eunice Clayton, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, in Black Earth Rising, a television drama series co-produced by BBC Two and Netflix and which aired in the United States in January 2019. Tunie has also appeared in film, most notably playing the key supporting role of Margaret Thomason in Flight (2012).