Caroline Sunshine

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Caroline Sunshine
Caroline Sunshine 2012.jpg
Sunshine in 2012
Born (1995-09-05) September 5, 1995 (age 25)
EducationClaremont McKenna College[1]
Years active2004-2017 (acting)
Political partyRepublican

Caroline Mohr Sunshine (born September 5, 1995) is an American former actress, dancer, and singer who previously worked as a White House staffer.

As an actress, she is best known for her co-starring role as flashy, rude European exchange student Tinka Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up. Sunshine has also appeared in the feature film Marmaduke (2010), the documentary Behind The Scenes (2012), and the direct-to-video film The Outfield (2015).

Early life[edit]

Caroline Sunshine was born on September 5, 1995, in Atlanta, Georgia, to parents Thom and Karen Sunshine.[2] She was raised in Orange County, California, and has two younger brothers, Johnny and Christopher.[2][3] Sunshine began studying ballet at the age of 3 and landed her first lead role playing Goldilocks in a kindergarten play.[2][3] She later moved on to acting with the Orange County Children's Theater and dancing competitively with the South Coast Performing Arts studio in Tustin, California.[3][4]



Sunshine at the world premiere of Cars 2 in June 2011

In 2004 Sunshine started in theater and her stage credits include Annie Warbucks at the Orange County Children's Theatre, The Nutcracker at the Academy of Dance and South Coast Performing Arts, and Stage Door at the Lutheran High School of Orange County.[2][5] In 2006, Sunshine began going to professional auditions at the age of 11, and landed her first role in a commercial for Amazing Allysen the talking doll, as well as commercial work for Yoplait Go-Gurt, and Cap'n Crunch.[2][3][4] In 2010, Sunshine filmed her first pilot for the CBS sitcom, Team Spitz, co-starring as the teenage daughter of a high school coach played by Rob Riggle.[3][6][7] In the summer of that same year, she gained popular notoriety for her role as Barbara Winslow in her first feature film, Marmaduke, based on the comic strip of the same name.[3][4][6]

In the fall of 2010, Sunshine landed what would become her most famous role as a co-star on the Disney Channel original series, Shake It Up as European exchange student, Tinka Hessenheffer alongside Kenton Duty as her flamboyant twin brother, Gunther Hessenheffer.[8][9][10][11] The glitzy brother/sister duo of Gunther and Tinka is said to be inspired by Ryan and Sharpay Evans of Disney's High School Musical franchise.[11][12][13][14] She was a recurring cast member during the first season, but was promoted to a regular character for the second and third seasons. The series ended in November 2013. Sunshine appeared on the Disney Channel Christmas album Holidays Unwrapped; her cover version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was featured as the tenth song on the album.

In 2014, Sunshine performed as the lead role of Campbell in the Non-Equity national tour of Bring It On the Musical.[citation needed] In June 2014 she filmed a Freeform pilot called Recovery Road based on Blake Nelson's novel of the same name, in which she plays a title role alongside Samantha Logan.[15] Neither Sunshine nor Logan would appear in the actual series, however. Logan was replaced by Jessica Sula and Sunshine's character was removed from the script. During 2015 Sunshine appeared in a TV Movie called Go Four Broke as Tiffani Brand. And earlier she appeared in the big screen production of The Outfield.


In February 2011, Sunshine became the spokesmodel for the teen fragrance, "Puppy Love 4 Girlz".[16][17] "Puppy Love" Fragrances is committed to helping homeless dogs and puppies, with a portion of all proceeds of the perfume going to local animal shelters.[17] In May 2011, Sunshine was named one of Dream Magazine's "Top 16 Under 16".[18]

In addition to her work with "Puppy Love", Sunshine is involved in several other charitable causes including the "Joyful Sewing Organization," which makes blankets for cancer patients, "Working Wardrobes," which provides assistance to underprivileged women and victims of domestic abuse, the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center, which offers in-home parenting classes to families to break the generational cycle of abuse, the "Adopt A Hero" program, which provides for the needs of soldiers and their families; the "Loaves and Fishes Ministry" which helps to feed the homeless, and the "Thirst Project," which is dedicated to providing clean drinking water to communities in developing nations.[19][20][21]


Sunshine got involved in politics as a White House intern in January 2018, receiving a full-time job as a press assistant by mid-March 2018.[22] Prior to this role, Sunshine had interned for the office of Kevin McCarthy, then the House Majority Leader; the College Republican National Committee; and the California Republican Party.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Sunshine began dating Matt Stumme - who got into medical school in 2016 - in 2013. Caroline and Matt went to college and high school together.[2][3][4][7][24] Sunshine is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, and Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, California.


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Marmaduke Barbara Winslow
2012 Behind the Scenes Herself Documentary
2015 The Outfield Emily Jordan
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2008 What's the Word? Herself Episode: "Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board"
2010–2013 Shake It Up Tinka Hessenheffer Recurring role (season 1); main role (seasons 23); 45 episodes
2012 A.N.T. Farm Ella Episode: "Some enchANTed evening"
2014 Fish Hooks Alexis Voice; episode "Algae Day/Bea Saves a Tree"
2017 Mommy I Didn't Do It Sylvie Garrett Television film


Year Title Role
2004 Annie Warbucks Annie Warbucks
2005 The Nutcracker Doll
2006 Stage Door Annie
2014 Bring It On the Musical Campbell


Promotional singles[edit]

Year Song Album
2012 "Roam"[25]
(with Davis Cleveland, Kenton Duty and Adam Irigoyen)
Treasure Buddies

Other appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2012 "The Star I R" Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance
"All I Want For Christmas Is You" Disney Channel Holiday Playlist
2013 "Afterparty" (with Roshon Fegan) Shake It Up: I <3 Dance

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2011 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series
(shared with Bella Thorne, Zendaya, Davis Cleveland, Roshon Fegan, Adam Irigoyen and Kenton Duty)
Shake It Up Nominated [26]
2012 Nominated [27]


  1. ^ Larsen, Peter (March 28, 2018). "Caroline Sunshine, a former Disney Channel star from Orange County, joins the White House press office". Orange County Register. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Caroline Sunshine is "Tinka"". Disney Channel Medianet. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Tustin teen stars in 'Marmaduke'". The Orange County Register. June 6, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "Meet Marmaduke Star Caroline Sunshine!'". Hollywood Teen 'Zine. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "Disney Channel show stars actress with Chicago ties". WLS-TV: ABC Chicago. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Caroline Sunshine Exclusive Interview". The Star Scoop. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Caroline Sunshine Interview'". Portrait Magazine. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  8. ^ "Characters – Gunther & Tinka – Shake It Up! – Disney Channel". Disney Channel Online. Disney. Archived from the original on November 8, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  9. ^ "'Shake It Up': Meet Gunther & Tinka". ClevverTV. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  10. ^ "1 on 1 with Caroline Sunshine & Kenton Duty". Fanlala. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "When It Comes to Gay Characters, When Will the Teen Channels Grow Up?". Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  12. ^ "O.C. teen lands role in Disney Channel's new "Shake It Up" series". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "Caroline Sunshine & Kenton Duty: Disney's New Ryan & Sharpay!". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "Picks and Pans: Shake It Up". People Magazine. December 20, 2010.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 3, 2014). "Caroline Sunshine In Pilot 'Recovery Road'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  16. ^ "Caroline Sunshine Launches New Teen Fragrance". Net News Publisher. February 25, 2011. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Puppy Love Spokesmodel Caroline Sunshine". Puppy Love Frangrances. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "Dream Magazine – May 2011 Cover". Archived from the original on June 17, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  19. ^ "Top 16 Under 16: Caroline Sunshine". Archived from the original on May 29, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  20. ^ "Caroline Sunshine on Pet Life Radio". Pet Life Radio. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  21. ^ "Caroline Sunshine Interview". Star Chat Magazine. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  22. ^ Klein, Betsy. "Former Disney star joins White House press team". CNN. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  23. ^ "Former Disney actress joins White House". BBC News. March 28, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  24. ^ "Top 16 Under 16: Caroline Sunshine". Archived from the original on May 29, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  25. ^ "Roam (From "Treasure Buddies") – Single". iTunes. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  26. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  27. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.

External links[edit]