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Lily Tomlin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (25) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Birth NameMary Jean Tomlin
Height 5' 5½" (1.66 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lily Tomlin was born September 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, to Lillie Mae (Ford) and Guy Tomlin, who moved to Michigan from Paducah, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Her mother was a nurse's aide and her father was a factory worker. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1957, and later enrolled at Wayne State University. She began career by doing stand-up comedy in nightclubs in Detroit and New York City. Her first television appearance was on "The Merv Griffin Show". She went on to have astronomical success with several characters, notably, Ernestine, a nosy, condescending telephone operator who generally treated customers with little sympathy and regard, on Laugh-In (1967). Other notable characters are in film include, Linnea Reese, a gospel-singing mother of two deaf children who has an affair with a womanizing country singer (played by (Keith Carradine) in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975). A performance for which she was nominated an Academy Award. Violet Newstead who joins her on-screen coworkers (played by Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton) in seeking revenge on their monstrous and sexist boss, Franklin M. Hart Jr., (played by Dabney Coleman) in the comedy Nine to Five (1980), The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), Doreen Piggot in Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993), Cher's best-friend and American compatriot Georgie Rockwell in Tea with Mussolini (1999), deadpan private investigator, and existentialist Vivian Jaffe in I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Country-Western singer Rhonda Johnson in Robert Altman's final film A Prairie Home Companion (2006).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tony.r.vario@gmail.com

Spouse (1)

Jane Wagner (31 December 2013 - present)

Trade Mark (1)

She is still best known for her Laugh-In (1967) characters, Edith Ann, a precocious 5 1/2 year old girl in an oversize rocking chair, and Ernestine, a telephone operator.

Trivia (25)

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].
Studied acting under Charles Nelson Reilly, who introduced her to the works of monologist Ruth Draper, a major inspiration for Tomlin's work.
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).
With Meryl Streep presented Robert Altman with his honorary Oscar on March 5th, 2006 at the 78th Academy Awards ceremony.
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.
(25 May 1999) Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada - guest speaker for Exceptional Experiences lecture series. [May 1999]
(December 31, 2013) Married her girlfriend of 42 years Jane Wagner. They met in March 1971.
A recipient of the 2014 Kennedy Center Honors. Other recipients this year were Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride, and Sting.
She was originally set to play Olive Oyl in Popeye (1980), opposite Dustin Hoffman in the title role. Shelley Duvall eventually played the role opposite Robin Williams.
Is one of 26 actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination for their performance in a musical; hers being Nashville (1975). The others, in chronological order, are: Bessie Love (The Broadway Melody (1929)), Grace Moore (One Night of Love (1934)), Jean Hagen (Singin' in the Rain (1952)), Marjorie Rambeau (Torch Song (1953)), Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones (1954)), Deborah Kerr (The King and I (1956)), Rita Moreno (West Side Story (1961)), Gladys Cooper (My Fair Lady (1964)), Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), and Victor Victoria (1982)), Debbie Reynolds (The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)), Peggy Wood (The Sound of Music (1965)), Carol Channing (Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)), Kay Medford (Funny Girl (1968)), Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl (1968)), Liza Minnelli (Cabaret (1972)), Ronee Blakley (Nashville (1975)), Ann-Margret (Tommy (1975)), Lesley Ann Warren (Victor Victoria (1982)), Amy Irving (Yentl (1983)), Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge! (2001)), Queen Latifah (Chicago (2002)), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago (2002)), Renée Zellweger (Chicago (2002)), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls (2006)), Penélope Cruz (Nine (2009)), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables (2012)), and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods (2014)).
Best friends with Jane Fonda.
"The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, California was awarded the 2003 Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Touring Production.
Was born the same day World War II started.

Personal Quotes (15)

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 career at Laugh-In (1967)] "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".
You have to cultivate an audience to think more about women. Too many people think about women as necessary, but not 'so' necessary. They are as necessary as we need them to be. The power structure doesn't give it up that easy. Even at Sundance, only 25% of the films have women behind the camera in some kind of way. It's slow because you've got to get women in positions of power to extend that hand and get funding for women-led projects.
I've lived a long time, and I've always had to make my own way. I remember when I was eighteen, Ray Valente who was head of casting at Screen Gems, said, 'Lily, some day there will be parts for gals like you' and I said I couldn't wait that long. So I started making my own parts.

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