Edit
Meg Tilly Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 14 February 1960Long Beach, California, USA
Birth NameMargaret Elizabeth Chan
Nickname Meggers
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Meg Tilly was set on being a dancer, and at 17 connected to the Connecticut Ballet Company and later Throne Dance Theatre. It was in this capacity that she had her screen debut in Alan Parker's Fame (1980). Unfortunately, an injury to her back cut short her plans for a dance career, and a small appearance in the TV series Hill Street Blues (1981) turned her towards acting (her dancing skills were not all forgotten, as was evident in The Big Chill (1983) and Psycho II (1983)). She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Agnes of God (1985), and nobody doubted that she was on her way to stardom. One step on the road to that status was her being cast in Milos Forman's Amadeus (1984) as Constanza, but again her body interfered, and seven weeks into the production with her foot in a cast were more than the producers could accept, and she was replaced. Her "consolation", was a role in Forman's next project Valmont (1989), didn't do her career much good. Since then she has averaged a movie a year, and with the exception of Leaving Normal (1992), none have tapped the enormous reservoir of talent she has.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <elmic@post8.tele.dk>

Mother Patricia was a teacher, and former stage actress, her father Harry (Chinese), a car salesman. In the mid 1960s her mother divorced and moved back to Texada Island, British Columbia, to live with Tilly's grandmother, and later the family moved to Victoria. Sister of actress Jennifer Tilly. Raised in British Columbia by her mother and step-father, Meg started taking dancing lessons at age 12. She earned a scholarship to a top ballet school in New York. At 17 was connected to Connecticut Ballet Company and later Throne Dance Theatre, but a serious back injury ended her dancing career. She then went to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and the rest, as they say, is history. Meg made her first film appearance in a bit as an auditioning dancer in Fame (1980). She has also written a novel titled "Singing Songs".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (3)

Don Calame (2002 - present)
John Calley (13 October 1995 - 2 February 2002) (divorced)
Tim Zinnemann (1983 - 1989) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (16)

Son, with Colin Firth, William Joseph Firth (b. 1990).
Younger sister of actress Jennifer Tilly.
Was originally cast as Mozart's wife in Amadeus (1984), but had to leave after tearing a ligament in her leg during a soccer game with her children one day before her shooting started.
Relationship with Colin Firth began while filming Milos Forman's Valmont (1989).
In high school, everyone called Jennifer, Meg, and their younger sister Becky the Three Musketeers.
Is half Chinese.
1995: Retired from acting and moved to British Columbia, Canada, to devote herself to writing and raising a family.
Her first fiction novel was "Singing Songs" (1994; Dutton Books) based on memories of her own childhood. Her second novel "Gemma" (2006; Syren Book Company), is a graphic, disturbing tale about child sexual abuse, which has prompted her to recently reveal her own true-life sexual abuse as a youngster growing up.
While older sister Jennifer Tilly has remained mum about the history of childhood sexual abuse in the family recently revealed by Meg (which included her stepfather and one of her mother's boyfriends), youngest sister Becky has corroborated her sister's revelations.
While filming One Dark Night (1982), she was incredibly uncomfortable in the actual mausoleum. Her reactions to her surroundings were often genuine. During the scenes where she was hysterical, she actually did throw herself into hysterics and it took her awhile after each take to calm herself down.
Said that her worst film experience was working with Anthony Perkins in Psycho II (1983). Her best film experience was working with Norman Jewison, Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft in Agnes of God (1985). Interestingly, both films resulted in Tilly being nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
Children from her marriage to Tim Zinnemann: Emily (b. 1984) and David (b. 1986).
Was in consideration for the part of Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction (1994) but Uma Thurman, who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
Former daughter-in-law of Fred Zinnemann.
Ex-sister-in-law of Sam Simon.
Younger sister, Becky, is a post-impressionist painter.

Personal Quotes (8)

[on her retirement from acting] Do I regret quitting? Absolutely not. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had the privilege of watching my children grow up. I was there for the joys and the sorrows, the challenging heartbreaking times as well as the giddy, exuberant triumphs. I would not have traded those years for anything in the world.
I really enjoy acting. At home I can't even finish a sentence, and here am I reading these wonderful lines. I think it must be every housewife's dream, to be an actress part-time.
I still have a problem with nuns. I follow them around like a kitten with a ball of yarn.
I'm not that fashion-conscious. A lot of time, when women are appearing to be so perfect, it's because they're a mess underneath.
If you meet people who have been successful in Hollywood, or look at their photographs, you see a haunted look in their eyes. You sense a trapped feeling.
[on her role in Bomb Girls (2012)] It wasn't just another job, stacking cans of tomatoes in a supermarket. I was building the bombs and the ammunition that my sons were using. If I built a faulty one, it might mean that they might die. There was a real sense that we needed to do the best job that we possibly can. At least for my character, it was vitally important. It was almost obsessive: that if she does her best she will keep her kids safe.
[re 30th anniversary reunion of The Big Chill (1983) cast in 2013] It's wonderful, I'm so happy they had the idea to bring us all together to do this. It's such a gift, I get to see everybody again and I haven't seen everybody in so long. To see their happy smiling faces, that was such a blessing, I'm really grateful.
[on her Chinese heritage] Unfortunately, we were not raised to respect our Chinese history and tradition. My mother and father divorced in 1963, when I was three. My mother was quite bitter. She spoke very angrily about him and everything Chinese. If ever you did anything bad or selfish, it was "the Chinese coming out in you." We were told that we must never tell anyone that we were half Chinese, because if people knew they wouldn't let their children play with us... The difficult part was growing up, feeling like I had to reject and deny and turn my back on half of what I was. The wonderful part is, that is behind me now. Things are different... You didn't know I was Asian, because for many years, I had my mother's warnings echoing in my ears. I didn't tell anyone. I was grown, but still, I was scared. Thought it would limit me, the roles I would be offered. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I started to tell the people closest to me. When they didn't run in horror, I got braver and spoke of it more. What a relief it was to finally acknowledge all of me.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page