She is still best known for her "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967) characters, Edith Ann, a precocious 5 1/2 year old girl in an oversize rocking chair, and Ernestine, a telephone operator.
Was a pre-med student at Wayne State University before choosing acting as a career.
Studied mime with Paul Curtis.
She gave away genuine locks of her hair as a bonus for buyers of her home video library in 1993.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
One of her first "professional" gigs was as a waitress in Howard Johnson's on Broadway near Times Square. Her comments to customers and staff heard over the eatery's microphone attracted her first big-city audience.
Was to star in a film called Illegitimate around 1980 but the film was never made. [Originally reported in "Playboy" magazine].
Acknowledged that she has been in a romantic relationship with Jane Wagner since 1971.
Before a performance of one of her one-woman shows in New York City, she appeared on the sidewalk dressed in a Red Cross nurse's uniform, handing out cups of coffee to those waiting in line to enter the theatre.
During her one-woman show in Las Vegas, Nevada, she appeared as her own opening act: a smarmy male lounge singer billed as Tommy Velour.
Won a Grammy Award for the comedy album "This is a Recording" in 1971 and won Tony Awards in 1977 and 1986.
Won the Kennedy Center's prestigious Mark Twain Prize for Humor in 2003.
Has won two Tony Awards: in 1977, a special Award, and in 1986, the Best Actress (Play) Award for her one-woman show, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," a performance recreated in the film version of the same title, The Search for Signs of Inteligent Life in the Universe (1991).
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
In 2002, Lily Tomlin was The Women's Image Network (WIN) Awards Lifetime Achievement Honoree which Director David O. Russell presented onstage as an opera singer serenading Lily on his one bended knee.
Nominated in the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, "Eastbound & Down", at The Women's Image Network (WIN) Awards 2012.
There will be sex after death - we just won't be able to feel it.
I've been around a long time, and I interviewed with a lot of the same people over and over. I was always direct and open about my life. I would always reference Jane [Wagner] and everything, but they never choose to write about it that way -- just like they never wrote about Jack Kennedy and the women in the swimming pool. It was the times, but the media culture has changed.
I remember back in the 70s during my really assertive days someone took me to dinner with Lola Falana. And she was talking about her backup dancers; she kept calling them her "boy dancers" so my guard was already up. Then she said "I also like John. He's a real purse nelly". I said "Excuse me? What did you just say". I was ready to go to battle. "You know," she says in her thick accent. "Purse Nelly! Pursnelly!" Then I realized she was saying he had a good personality.
Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic?
The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
(When asked about her complexion during her "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967) days) "I've never had a pimple in my whole life - and that's the truth".
If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question.
If you read a lot of books, you're considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you're not considered well-viewed.
I had a friend who was getting married. I gave her a subscription to the magazine "Modern Bride". The subscription lasted longer than the marriage.
Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
[on John Travolta] Maybe the major thing is how sensual he is. And sexy too. The sensitivity and the sexuality are very strong. It's as if he had every dichotomy -- masculinity, femininity, refinement, crudity. You see him, you fall in love a little bit.
Just remember. We're all in this alone.
[when Tomlin was asked how she felt when Ellen Degeneres came out as a lesbian] I felt jealous. Because I'd been around much longer, and I'm gay. I admired her but at the same time, I thought, 'oh, darn it! I wish that that had been me. I would have liked to have left that legacy.' So I'm extremely proud of her. When I say I was jealous, I was jealous in a good way. I thought it was an extraordinary moment.
(May 1999) (25 May 1999) Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada - guest speaker for Exceptional Experiences lecture series.
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