Caroline Sunshine (born September 5, 1995) is an American actress, dancer and singer. She is best known for her role as Barbara Winslow in the Fox family film, Marmaduke, and for her co-starring role as the flashy European exchange student Tinka Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel comedy series Shake It Up.
Caroline Sunshine was born September 5, 1995, in Atlanta, Georgia to parents Thom and Karen Sunshine. She was raised in Orange County, California, and has two younger brothers, John (born in 1997) and Christopher (born in 2000). Sunshine began studying ballet at the age of 3 and landed her first lead role playing Goldilocks in a kindergarten play. 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. Caroline's 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.
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, andCap'n Crunch. 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 of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 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.
In the fall of 2010, Sunshine landed what would become a co-starring role 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.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. While finding some aspects of the show formulaic, People Magazine critic, Tom Gliatto expressed appreciation for the comedic twosome's work on the series, writing - "Shake It Up doesn't shake up the kidcom formula, but it has something more than the usual shiny-sparkly cuteness... The best performances are from Caroline Sunshine and Kenton Duty as an overbearing brother-and-sister act from abroad named Tinka and Gunther. They're like High School Musical's Sharpay split in two and speaking in an unplaceable accent." She was a recurring cast member during the first season, but was promoted to the regular characters for the second and third season. The series ended in November 2013.
In 2014, Sunshine will be playing the lead role of Campbell in the Non-Equity national tour of Bring It On the Musical.
Sunshine currently lives in Orange County, California with her father Thom, her mother Karen, and her two younger brothers, Johnny and Chris. In her free time she enjoys dancing, traveling, cooking, baking, and photography, as well as outdoor activities including going to the beach, surfing, snorkeling and rafting. In February 2011, Sunshine became the spokesmodel for the teen fragrance, "Puppy Love 4 Girlz". "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. In May 2011, Sunshine was named one of Dream Magazine's "Top 16 Under 16".
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.