Maurissa Tancharoen

Maurissa Tancharoen

Tancharoen at PaleyFest 2014
Born Maurissa Tancharoen
(1975-11-28) November 28, 1975
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon
Occupation Actress, singer, television producer, television writer
Years active Since 1988
Spouse(s) Jed Whedon
(m. 2009)
Relatives Kevin Tancharoen (brother)

Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon (born November 28, 1975),[1] in Los Angeles, California[2] is an American television producer/writer, actress, singer, dancer, and lyricist.


Tancharoen's first paid script came in 2001 when she sold Revolution Studios an untitled pitch in which two Asian American FBI agents investigate a gang in South Central Los Angeles by working undercover as Korean grocery store clerks.[3] Her production credits include working as assistant to producer Mark Tinker on NYPD Blue and to William M. Finkelstein on Brooklyn South, as well as being co-executive producer of the series DanceLife.[2]

As a writer and story editor Tancharoen has worked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Starz series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Drop Dead Diva, Dollhouse[4] and the short-lived sitcom Oliver Beene.[2] She also worked on Spartacus: Vengeance.[5]

In addition to writing, Tancharoen also played a brief acting role in Dollhouse as the active Kilo (like the other Los Angeles actives named from the NATO phonetic alphabet), and co-wrote and performed lyrics for "Remains" with Jed Whedon for the Dollhouse episode "Epitaph One". She co-wrote Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and appeared onscreen as Groupie #1, as well as on the DVD audio track "Commentary! The Musical", in which she sings about the scarcity of non-stereotyped roles in television and film for actors of Asian origin.[6] She appeared onscreen as a singer in Joss Whedon's 2011 adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.,[7] provided Zelda's singing voice in the season 2 episode "The Musical" of The Legend of Neil, a spoof based on the video game The Legend of Zelda, and performed backing vocals and danced in the video for the The Guild parody song "(Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar" released August 17, 2009.[8]

Tancharoen worked with Jed Whedon and Joss Whedon on The Avengers,[9][10] and is currently a showrunner and executive producer for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.[11]

Personal life

Tancharoen is Asian-American and has said that her surname is of Thai origin.[12] She attended Occidental College, where she wrote two plays that won the Argonaut & Moore literary award.[3] Her father, Tommy Tancharoen, is a transportation coordinator for Hollywood movies. Her brother Kevin Tancharoen is a director, whose feature film debut is 2009's Fame. On April 19, 2009, she married fellow writer Jed Whedon, brother of Joss Whedon.[13] Their first child, daughter Bennie Sue Whedon,[14] was born in June 2015.

In her younger years, Tancharoen was a member of the girl band Pretty in Pink. The band broke up before seeing major success and shortly after Tancharoen was diagnosed with lupus that required chemotherapy.[15]


In 2009, Tancharoen won a Streamy Award for Best Writing for a Comedy Web Series for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.


  1. State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Sacramento, California, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics.
  2. 1 2 3 Maurissa Tancharoen biographical information, Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  3. 1 2 Charles Lyons. "Revolution catches FBI pitch", Daily Variety Gotham, June 11, 2001, page 6: " 'This is my first official gig as a screenwriter,' Tancharoen said. 'It's a break for me, and I am so grateful for the opportunity. Revolution is an amazing place to be.' "
  4. Mike Hale (August 2, 2008). "In Online Musical, the Mad Doctor Is In". The New York Times. p. 7 Arts. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  5. "Spartacus Gods Of The Arena Episode 3 Photo Preview". 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  6. Liz Shannon Miller. "Dr. Horrible DVD: Yes, it's worth your money,", December 10, 2008.
  7. @MoTancharoen (August 17, 2009). "#1 on itunes! Wow. And yes ...". Retrieved October 20, 2011. #1 on itunes! Wow. And yes that's me dancing, and yes, I sing on the bg vocals. @theguild rocks! #datemyavatar video!!!
  8. "Joss Whedon Writes Thank You Letter to Fans for Years of Support, 'Avengers' Success". Hollywood Reporter. 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  9. Caroline van Oosten de Boer, Milo Vermeulen (2012-05-09). "The Purple - Purple prose". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  10. Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. Comes to ABC,, retrieved August 29, 2012
  11. Exclusive: Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (interview),, July 19, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-21. (includes audio)
  12. Official Dr. Horrible Twitter updates: Maurissa and Jed are getting married in less than 48 hours Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon
  14. Warrior Princess: Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon finds support through friends and family Retrieved January 26, 2013.
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