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Phoebe Tonkin
Phoebe Tonkin at PaleyFest 2014.jpg
Tonkin at PaleyFest 2014 for The Originals
Phoebe Jane Elizabeth Tonkin

(1989-07-12) 12 July 1989 (age 29)
Sydney, Australia
  • Actress
  • model
Years active2006–Present
Known for
  • H2O: Just Add Water
  • The Secret Circle
  • The Originals

Phoebe Jane Elizabeth Tonkin[1] (born 12 July 1989[1][2]) is an Australian actress and model. She is best known for portraying Cleo Sertori in H2O: Just Add Water, Fiona Maxwell in Tomorrow, When the War Began, Faye Chamberlain in The Secret Circle, and Hayley Marshall in The CW series The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off series The Originals.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Other projects
  • 4 Filmography
    • 4.1 Film
    • 4.2 Television
    • 4.3 Music videos
  • 5 Awards and nominations
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life[edit]

Tonkin was born in Sydney, Australia. When she was four, she attended dance courses in classical ballet, hip hop, contemporary dance, and tap dance. At the age of 12, Tonkin began courses at the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) at the Wharf Theatre. Tonkin graduated from Queenwood School for Girls.[citation needed]


In December 2005, Tonkin was cast in the role of Cleo Sertori on the Australian children’s television series H2O: Just Add Water which follows the lives of three teenage girls who turn into mermaids. Tonkin improved on her swimming abilities during the pre-production of the series. The series premiered on 7 July 2006 on Network Ten and has since gone on to be aired to a worldwide audience of more than 250 million. To promote the series she and her co-stars presented the best band award at the Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards in October 2007. In 2008, Tonkin was nominated for "Best Lead Actress in a Television Series" at the prestigious Australian Film Institute Awards.[3] The series ran for three seasons with the series finale airing on 16 April 2010.

Tonkin at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2012

Tonkin has also appeared on fellow Australian television shows Packed to the Rafters and Home and Away.[4][better source needed] In September 2010, Tonkin made her film debut starring in the Australian action ensemble film Tomorrow, When the War Began. In the film, which revolves around a group of teenagers waging a guerrilla war against an invading foreign power in their fictional hometown of Wirrawee, she played the role of the rich and uptight Fiona Maxwell. In December 2010, a sequel was announced with Tonkin expected to return,[5] though production of a sequel never came to fruition.

In January 2011, Tonkin moved to Los Angeles to pursue an international acting career.[6] She was cast in March 2011 as Faye Chamberlain on The CW supernatural drama series The Secret Circle[7] which premiered on 15 September 2011 to over 3.5 million viewers.[8][9] The series follows a group of young witches who are a part of a secret coven. For her performance, Tonkin has received critical acclaim, with critics referring to her as the break-out star of the series; she was featured on Variety's list of "new faces to watch"[10] and named one of 2011's break-out TV stars by E! Online.[11] The Secret Circle, however, had only one full season as it was cancelled on 11 May 2012.[12]

In August 2010, Tonkin was cast in the 3D horror film Bait 3D.[13] Filming took place on Australia's Gold Coast and follows a group of strangers who are trapped in a supermarket after a freak tsunami with a pack of great white sharks. The film was expected to be released in Australia in September 2012. In August 2012, Tonkin joined the cast of The CW television series, The Vampire Diaries, in the recurring role of Hayley, a friend of Tyler. She joined her co-star from H2O: Just Add Water, Claire Holt, who portrays Rebekah Mikaelson on the show.[14]

On 11 January 2013, The CW confirmed that a spin-off series to The Vampire Diaries was in the works, titled The Originals. The series revolves around the Original Vampire family members, and Tonkin would "be heavily featured in the prospective pilot" of the series.[15] The CW confirmed on 13 February that Claire Holt would also join the cast of The Originals, marking the third time Tonkin and Holt have starred together on a show.[16]

On 15 May 2017, SBS announced that Tonkin had been cast in their new four part drama Safe Harbour about a group of Australians who come across a boat of refugees whilst sailing on vacation.[17] Tonkin revealed the name of her character to be "Olivia" on Instagram.[18] In 2018, she appeared on an episode of The Affair as Delphine, the protégé of an art gallery owner who had an affair with Cole's father.[19][20]

After expressing a desire to continue working in Australia in interviews,[21] it was announced on 20 August 2018 that Tonkin was cast in Bloom, to be aired by streaming platform Stan, as a younger version of the character Gwen Reid, the elder version of which will be portrayed by Jacki Weaver.[22]

Other projects[edit]

Tonkin has appeared in a number of advertisements which include Vauxhall Motors and was previously signed to Chic Management. Her modelling career includes shoots for Girlfriend, Teen Vogue, Elle Australia, Complex, Miss Vogue, Vogue Australia, Dolly and Free People.

Tonkin appeared in the music video for Miles Fisher's 2011 single "Don't Let Go".[23]

In 2012, Tonkin opened a website about health with friend Teresa Palmer called Your Zen Life. In June 2015, Tonkin announced she was stepping down from her involvement in the site due to work commitments.[24]

Tonkin has appeared as the face of New York-based stylist Ilona Hamer's swimwear line "Matteau Swim" from 2015 to 2017[25] completing 3 seasons with the brand.[26][27][28] She also helped launch the lifestyle clothing line for Witchery in 2015.[29]

In September 2017, Tonkin appeared in the ad campaign "Journey To The Wild Side" for Smythson to promote their latest product range.[30]

In May 2018, Tonkin appeared in Jenni Kayne's #findyouruniform fashion campaign alongside Lara Bingle and TyLynn Nguyen.[31]

In addition to attending Chanel events and taking part in several photoshoots in the brand's clothing, Tonkin is a Chanel brand ambassador.[32] For the April 2018 issue of Vogue Australia, Tonkin underwent another photoshoot in partnership with Chanel makeup director Lucia Pica.[33] She was revealed in September 2018 as one of nine women taking part in a digital campaign for Chanel's Gabrielle line of products.[34]



Year Title Role Notes
2010 Tomorrow, When the War Began Fiona Maxwell
2012 Bait 3D Jaime
2014 The Ever After Mabel [35]
2016 Billionaire Ransom Amy Tilton Originally titled Take Down[36]
2016 Cul-de-Sac Mother Short film[37]
2018 The Place of No words N/A [38] [39]
2018 Final Stop N/A Short film[40][41]


Year Title Role Notes
2006–2010 H2O: Just Add Water Cleo Sertori Main role
2009–2010 Packed to the Rafters Lexi Recurring role, 3 episodes
2010 Home and Away Adrian Hall Recurring role, 7 episodes
2011–2012 The Secret Circle Faye Chamberlain Main role
2012–2013 The Vampire Diaries Hayley Marshall Recurring role, 8 episodes
2013–2018 The Originals Hayley Marshall Main role
2015 Stalker Nicole Clark Episode: "My Hero"[42]
2017 Pillow Talk Sonja Episode: "Rabbit Hole"
2018 Safe Harbour Olivia Gallagher Miniseries[17][18]
2018 These New South Whales Herself Webseries Cameo, Episode: "Round The Twist"[43]
2018 The Affair Delphine Episode: "404"[19][20]
2019 Bloom Young Gwen Reid Web series[22][44]

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Song Notes
2012 Miles Fisher "Don't Let Go" Female lead

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Refs
2008 AFI Awards Best Lead Actress in Television Drama H2O: Just Add Water Nominated [3]
2015 Maxim Hot 100 Readers' Choice N/A #52 [45]
2015 Maxim Hot 100 The Actresses N/A #5 [46]