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Tatiana Thumbtzen

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Tatiana Thumbtzen


Juilliard School

The Perfect Model

Tatiana Thumbtzen with her curly hair wearing a black off-shoulder shirt, earrings, and bracelets during her pictorial

Full Name
Tatiana Yvonne Thumbtzen

April 22, 1960 (age 64) (
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.

Actress, model, dancer, artist

Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait VIP Dot

Ola Ray, Tonia Ryan, Michael Jackson

Tatiana thumbtzen kissing michael jackson onstage 1988

Stephanie "Tatiana" Yvonne Thumbtzen (born April 22, 1960) is an American actress, model and dancer. She is best known for her role as the love interest of pop star Michael Jackson in the music video for his song "The Way You Make Me Feel" from his seventh studio album, Bad.


Tatiana Thumbtzen with her curly hair wearing a black sleeveless shirt with someone| a scene from the short film for "The Way You Make Me Feel"

Tatiana thumbtzen explains what happened between her and michael jackson

Early life and family

Tatiana Thumbtzen with her curly hair wearing all black outside | scene from the short film for "The Way You Make Me Feel"

Born in Clearwater, Florida, Thumbtzen is of black-Cherokee Indian, Anglo-Cuban heritage. The Irish heritage comes from her adopted father Thumbtzen. Tatiana's family name is of German origin. She began to train in ballet at the age of eight, and moved to New York when she was thirteen on a ballet scholarship, where she studied at Juilliard in the school of American Ballet, a training camp for choreographer George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet Company.


Tatiana Thumbtzen smiles while holding the book "Michael & Tatiana"

She stated in an interview that through dance, she acquired a contract for modeling, and by age nineteen, she spent five years in Japan to start her career as a model. Once returning to New York, Thumbtzen began working on a Harry Belafonte Production film, Beat Street, before moving to Los Angeles at the end of 1986 to begin working on commercials and print-work. One of her first print work jobs was a campaign for Billy Dean Williams for LA Eyewear.

Tatiana Thumbtzen smiles while wearing pair of earrings (black and white)

Thumbtzen was selected to appear in Michael Jackson's music video for "The Way You Make Me Feel" after Jackson chose her during an audition. The filming, which took place from the end of 1987 to the beginning of 1988, is often cited as the launch of Thumbtzen's career.

Tatiana Thumbtzen with her curly hair wearing a sexy sleeveless dress

Thumbtzen later joined Jackson for his Bad Tour, and kissed Jackson on stage in his first kiss in public. She claims she was fired soon after through the encouragement of his "entourage" for taking advantage of the star by kissing him, and was replaced with Sheryl Crow. She describes the story in her 2004 autobiography The Way He Made Me Feel co-authored by Thumbtzen and Tonia Ryan. She maintained a cute friendship with Jackson. She was called for the outtakes to spend time with Jackson in one of his short films "Leave Me Alone". Jackson used to call her with a nickname "Tati". Thumbtzen had a relationship with his family, and Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson invited her to attend his funeral at Staples Center.

Thumbtzen also appeared in the opening credits of the television series "A Different World".

Tatiana attended Michael Jackson's final funeral service on September 3, 2009. Shortly after Jackson's death, she met his manager Frank DiLeo and they settled their differences before Dileo's passing in 2011.


Michael Jackson: Video Greatest Hits - HIStory (Video) as
The Girl (video "The Way You Make Me Feel")
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (TV Series) as
Sexy Girl
- Clubba Hubba (1990) - Sexy Girl
Identity Crisis as
Annette's Friend
The Perfect Model as
Crystal Jennings
Michael Jackson: The Way You Make Me Feel (Music Video) as
Leading Female (uncredited)
Bad 25 (Documentary) as
VH1 News Presents (TV Series documentary) as
- Michael Jackson's Secret Childhood (2005) - Self
Michael Jackson's Boys (TV Movie documentary) as
Archive Footage
Michael Jackson: Number Ones (Video documentary) as
The Girl (segment "The Way You Make Me Feel")


Tatiana Thumbtzen Wikipedia

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