Tanya Lemani came to America at a young age not speaking a word of English. She tried to
embrace American ways and to follow her dream of becoming a classical ballet dancer. She also
wanted to develop herself to be an accomplished actress following the footsteps of her hero Betty
Davis. She was first discovered dancing ballet and was hired to be in a show at the Flamingo Hotel
in Las Vegas. To her surprise when she arrived there at the age of 16 years old, she discovered it
was not ballet, but a Belly Dance show.
This simple beginning led Tanya Lemani to headline her own show in Las Vegas and a journey
that allowed her to pursue her dream as an actress as she co-starred and had many guest
appearances on top television shows of the era including Star Trek, Elvis: ‘68 Comeback Special,
McHale’s Navy, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, It Takes a Thief, The Flying Nun, The Man from
U.N.C.L.E., and many more
She also, working on the “Alexander the Great” Pilot met William Shatner for the first time. Later she would meet him again and work with him on Star Trek: “Wolf in the Fold” as Kara. It was a great experience meeting and working with the whole cast, especially with James (Scotty) Doohan. After the filming she and William Shatner started dating.
One of Tanya Lemani’s most treasured memories was working with Elvis Presley on his
milestone ’68 Comeback Special. They would later meet when they both worked at the Hilton
International Hotel in Las Vegas, Elvis in the main Ballroom and Tanya in the Casino Lounge.
Her recollection of Elvis is one of a man who had a positive aura, intelligent, kind, and to top it
Tanya Lemani also worked in many movies with stars like, Bob Hope in “Global Affair,” Rod
Taylor in “The Hell with Heroes,” Doug McClure in “King’s Pirate,” Dick Van Dyke in “Some
Kind of a Nut,” Jennifer in “Goddess of Death,” Fabian and Casey Kasem in “Disco Fever,” and
Tanya Lemani was one of the founding members of ATA (American Theater Arts) and was
showcased in many fantastic roles in prominent plays and musicals at ATA Theater in
Hollywood. She also read submissions of the new plays. One that Tanya approved was “The Gin
Game” which made it to Broadway.
Her career has taken Tanya to perform in foreign Embassies in Washington D.C. for dignities
and foreign leaders including the Shah of Iran.
Today, Tanya is an accomplished author who has written her autobiography “Have Belly Will
Travel”. She just finished her latest book “Passport to Freedom” and now is discussing it with
literary agencies for National distribution.
She is currently writing screenplays. Tanya also has been cast in two movies yet to be made.