Tia Carrere (born January 2, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American actress, model, and singer, most widely known for her role as Cassandra in the feature film Wayne's World.
Born Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo, Carrere, of Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish heritage, longed to be a singer as a child. Although she was eliminated during the first round of her 1985 Star Search appearance at the age of 17, she was spotted by the parents of a local producer while shopping at a Waikiki grocery store and was cast in the b-movie Zombie Nightmare.
Following this initial success, Carrere relocated to Los Angeles and, after several months working as a model, landed a role in the daytime soap opera General Hospital from 1985 to 1987. During this time, she also had a guest appearance on The A-Team, which was supposed to lead to her joining the cast. Unfortunately, her General Hospital obligations prevented her from joining the team. Her character was dropped after one episode, and was never mentioned again.
Carrere had a guest appearance on the show MacGyver (The Wish Child) as a karate instructor.
Tia appeared in the 1991 action film Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.
She emerged into the public spotlight when cast as Cassandra, a rock singer and love interest of Mike Myers' character Wayne, in Wayne's World (1992) - a role she reprised the next year in Wayne's World 2. A trained singer, Carrere performed all of her own songs in the two films, and the Wayne's World soundtrack features her vocals. She also turned down a role in the series Baywatch to audition for Wayne's World.
On November 22, 1992, Carrere married Italian/Lebanese producer Elie Samaha, and she has appeared in several of his films - none of which have achieved widespread success. Other roles in prominent films followed her role in Wayne's World, however, including the part of villain Juno Skinner in True Lies (a 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger action film), robber Gina Walker in The Immortals (1995), and secretary Victoria Chapell in High School High (a 1996 parody).
From 1999 to 2002, Tia Carrere starred as archaeology professor Sydney Fox in Relic Hunter, an action-adventure series reminiscent of the Indiana Jones films. The syndicated series lasted for a total of three television seasons before its cancellation. Most recently, Carrere provided the voice of Lilo's sister "Nani" in the animated film Lilo and Stitch (2002) and its spinoffs, as well as the voice of Queen Tyr'ahnee from the 2003 Duck Dodgers animated series. She also starred as Ari, a space marine-turned pirate in the 1995 adventure/puzzle game Daedalus Encounter.
Carrere modelled nude for the January 2003 issue of Playboy magazine; years before, however, she had used a body double for a nude scene in Showdown in Little Tokyo. People magazine, in 1992, named her to its annual "50 most beautiful people" list.
Carrere has continued to nurture her singing career. In 1993 her first solo album, Dream, was released, and went platinum in the Philippines. That same year, she was featured on the soundtrack to Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, performing the ending theme, "I Never Even Told You". In August of 2003, Carrere was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and she is reportedly working on a new album in her home studio.
Carrere divorced her husband Elie Samaha in February of 2000; she married again, this time to photojournalist Simon Wakelin on December 31, 2002. They have a daughter, Bianca, born September 25, 2005. Presently, she lives in Toronto, Canada.
She participated as a contestant on the popular reality show Dancing with the Stars but after landing on her bottom more than once, she was eliminated on February 3, 2006.