Lily Tomlin
American comedian and actor
Lily Tomlin
Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin is an American actress, comedienne, writer, and producer. Tomlin has been a major force in American comedy since the late 1960s when she began a career as a stand up comedian and became a featured performer on television's Laugh-in. Her career has spanned television, comedy recordings, Broadway, and motion pictures, enjoying acclaimed success in each medium.
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Lily Tomlin's many characters (1988)
CNN - 12 days
In 1988, legendary funny woman Lily Tomlin took her act to Broadway and she tells Larry about her life playing multiple characters -- some of which make an appearance in this interview.
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CNN article
Kate McKinnon Will Voice Ms. Frizzle in Netflix's 'Magic School Bus' Reboot
Huffington Post - 16 days
Seat belts, everyone, because Kate McKinnon has officially booked a ride on the “Magic School Bus.” The “Saturday Night Live” star is set to voice the eccentric teacher Ms. Frizzle on Netflix’s reboot of the children’s series, and honestly — is there anyone better equipped with educating the next generation? Netflix announced in a press release Wednesday that McKinnon will lend her talents to the role of Walkerville Elementary School’s favorite third-grade teacher in the reboot, now titled “Magic School Bus: Rides Again.” Ms. Frizzle was previously voiced by Lily Tomlin in the original series. Tomlin won a Daytime Emmy for her performance in 1996.  In 2014, the streaming service ― in partnership with Scholastic Media ― announced it would reboot the beloved ‘90s series 20 years after the original debuted on PBS. The year before, Netflix acquired the rights to stream “Magic School Bus” on its platform, where it quickly became one of the most-watched kids program on the site. ...
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Huffington Post article
Hear 11 Celebrities Take A Stand On Politics At The SAG Awards
Huffington Post - 25 days
1. David Harbour (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “Stranger Things”) 2. Mahershala Ali (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, “Moonlight”) 3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, “Veep”) 4. Bryan Cranston (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series, “All The Way”) 5. Common and Sophia Bush (Presenters for Male Actor in a Drama Series) 6. Lily Tomlin (Lifetime Achievement Award) 7. William H. Macy (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series, “Shameless”) 8. Taylor Schilling (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, “Orange Is the New Black”) 9. Ashton Kutcher (Presenter for Female Actor in a Comedy Series) 10. Sarah Paulson (Outstanding Performance by a F ...
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Huffington Post article
Dolly Parton's Boob Jokes Were Everything The SAG Awards Needed
Huffington Post - 26 days
God bless Dolly Parton. In the midst of a politically dour Screen Actors Guild Awards, the country legend came through with more than enough pep for all of us.  “Greetings from Dollywood, Hollywood,” she said, taking the stage to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to her “9 to 5” co-star Lily Tomlin. “I almost didn’t get in. Seriously, I didn’t. They were holding me backstage, they kept wanting to see my I.D.’s. Well, I think they wanted to see I.D.’s ― maybe it was just double D’s. I’m glad to get that off my chest. Of course, Jane and Lily are not my only two famous girlfriends.” Parton then cupped her boobs, winked and chuckled.  .@DollyParton never fails to make us ! #SAGAwards — People Magazine (@people) January 30, 2017 Oh Dolly, we love you.  function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_vid ...
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Huffington Post article
TV This Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 4: 'Madiba' on BET
LATimes - 29 days
  SUNDAY  Super Bowl Sunday? Almost. Till then, make do with the “2017 Pro Bowl.” From Orlando, Fla. 4:50 p.m. ESPN Thespians salute thespians, and actress-comedian Lily Tomlin collects career kudos, at the “23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.” 5 p.m. TBS; 5 and 7 p.m. TNT Steve “horrible mistake”...
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LATimes article
The Queer Icons Still With Us In 2017
Huffington Post - about 2 months
There’s an urban legend that the Stonewall riots happened because gays were so upset by the death of Judy Garland. That never understood that until 2016, when we were all devastated by the loss of one queer icon after another ― David Bowie, George Michael, Debbie Reynolds, Alexis Arquette and so many more. There was even a rumor John Waters was about to go ― turns out he was just celebrating Christmas by passing a kidney stone. So don’t worry, John’s fine. And so are a ton of fabulous queer icons who are not just still alive, but producing some amazing work. And not just just kidney stones. Whether they’re gay themselves, or allies, or somewhere in between, the LGBT community’s role models are particularly important, since we’re often rendered invisible or closeted. When you hardly ever see your community held up as aspirational, you learn to be protective of the ones who make it, like Wanda Sykes, or the allies who’ve stood by us, like Cyndi Lauper. A lot of ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Is Like LinkedIn For Dictators
Huffington Post - 3 months
Washington DC: Goodyear Satire Co.-- Donald Trump has converted America's foreign policy into LinkedIn for Dictators. Polish up your killer resumes, the business of America is business again. Bringing "Greed is Good" to the Oval Office, President-Elect Donald "Gekko" Trump last week talked on the phone with the authoritarian strongman of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, the rogue leader of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, and the irrelevant president-ish of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen. Trump employs the same "ABC" method used by the real estate salesmen in 1992's "Glengarry Glen Ross". "Always Be Chaotic." Can we fire him before he's officially hired? Asking for a hundred million friends. In so doing, he upended decades of American foreign policy, approved of the killing of drug dealers, praised a leader who provides support to groups who are killing Americans, and caused a diplomatic incident with China. And all before he's on the clock! Can we fire him before he's officially ...
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Huffington Post article
Dolly Parton on Her Latest Projects, the Power of Love and More
Huffington Post - 3 months
Dolly Parton is a global icon and is one of the most honored female country performers of all time. Achieving 25 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts—a record for a female artist—and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. In addition to receiving multiple Grammy, Country Music Association, ACMA and AMA awards, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and just this month was the recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award during the 50th annual CMA Awards. Although Parton is best known as a country music singer-songwriter, she also wears a multitude of other hats: she is an actress, runs a successful multimedia corporation (Dolly Parton Enterprises) and the popular Dollywood Theme Park, and composed the score for the Broadway musical 9 to 5, based on the acclaimed film o ...
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Huffington Post article
"Searching For Signs" By Katharine "Kat" Kramer
Huffington Post - 3 months
I've had the good fortune of being inspired by and having an opportunity to learn from great performers and artists in the arts and entertainment.One such artist is the Legendary Lily Tomlin, who has become my role model as a performer, and also as a socially-conscious entertainer. Ms. Tomlin is an Ambassador for my international Cinema Series "Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World" and we've worked together on presenting films and documentaries featuring current social issues. My father Stanley Kramer, a maverick filmmaker only made films about controversial subjects or with a "message" and my Godmother was Feminist screen icon Katharine Hepburn, so it's no wonder I strive to work with those artists in our business who are social-justice minded. During the past several years of working closely with Ms. Tomlin on these issues, I was also lucky to perform a special musical Tribute for her that I had created that encompassed her career and social activism. Having the ability to s ...
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Huffington Post article
Dolly Parton’s CMAs Speech Is Another Reason We'll Always Love Her
Huffington Post - 4 months
Beyoncé may have made headlines with her performance at last night’s Country Music Association Awards, but not even Queen B could steal the spotlight from the one and only, Dolly Parton.  The country music icon was one of the night’s biggest honorees, taking home the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. When Parton went on stage to accept her award, she couldn’t help but make some high-larious jokes.  “To be receiving the Willie Nelson Award, this is an absolute high for me,” she said, laughing as the crowd erupted into cheers. “For Willie to have a high-chievement award, I mean how proper is that? ‘Cause he’s had some highs that border on historic, I can tell you that.”  In all seriousness, Parton added, “I really am very proud to receive this.” The line of the night from Dolly Parton #CMAawards50 — Hawkeye KSCS DJ (@HawkeyeOnAir) November 3, 2016 Before Parton gave her speech, some of country’s biggest stars paid tribut ...
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Huffington Post article
Essential Arts & Culture: Activists vs. art galleries, a battle over an alleged Pollock, Hammer gala
LATimes - 4 months
The connection between art and urban renewal. A lawsuit over a painting alleged to be by Jackson Pollock. And a Lily Tomlin play without Lily Tomlin. I’m Carolina A. Miranda, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, and here are the week’s most intriguing culture stories: Art and gentrification in...
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LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lily Tomlin
  • 2015
    In 2015, Tomlin starred in filmmaker Paul Weitz's film, Grandma, which Weitz said was inspired by Tomlin, garnered rave reviews, and earned Tomlin a Golden Globe Award nomination.
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    Her performance as Frankie garnered her nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015 and 2016.
    More Details Hide Details In 1974 Tomlin was cast by Robert Altman in her first film; her performance as Linnea Reese in Nashville won her several awards and nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
  • 2014
    In December 2014 she was one of five honorees for the annual Kennedy Center Honors.
    More Details Hide Details Tony Awards: Grammy Awards: Emmy Awards Tomlin has won six Emmy awards and a Daytime Emmy:
    In 2014 she was given Kennedy Center Honors and in 2016 she will receive the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Lillie Mae (née Ford; January 14, 1914July 12, 2005), a housewife and nurse's aide, and Guy Tomlin (March 3, 1913October 24, 1970), a factory worker. She has a brother, Richard Tomlin. Tomlin's parents were Southern Baptists who moved to Detroit from Paducah, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.
  • 2013
    In 2013, Tomlin and Wagner worked together on the film An Apology to Elephants, which Wagner wrote and Tomlin narrated.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin has received numerous awards, including: four primetime Emmys; a special 1977 Tony when she was appearing in her one-woman Broadway show, Appearing Nitely; a second Tony as Best Actress, two Drama Desk Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award for her one-woman performance in Jane Wagner's The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe; a CableACE Award for Executive Producing the film adaptation of The Search; a Grammy Award for her comedy album, This is a Recording (a collection of Ernestine the Telephone Operator routines) as well as nominations for her subsequent albums Modern Scream, And That's the Truth, and On Stage; and two Peabody Awards — the first for the ABC television special, Edith Ann's Christmas: Just Say Noël and the second for narrating and executive producing the HBO film, The Celluloid Closet. In 1992, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award. Tomlin was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2003 she was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Also in 2003, she was recognized again by Women in Film with the Lucy Award in recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television. In March 2009, Tomlin received Fenway Health's Dr. Susan M. Love Award for her contributions to women's health.
    On December 31, 2013, Tomlin and Wagner married in a private ceremony in Los Angeles after 42 years together.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin has been involved in a number of feminist and gay-friendly film productions, and on her 1975 album Modern Scream she pokes fun at straight actors who make a point of distancing themselves from their gay and lesbian characters - answering the pseudo-interview question, she replies: "How did it feel to play a heterosexual? I've seen these women all my life, I know how they walk, I know how they talk "
  • 2012
    In 2012, Tomlin guest starred on the HBO series Eastbound and Down.
    More Details Hide Details Appearing as Tammy Powers, mother of Kenny Powers, the show's main character, Tomlin appeared in three episodes of Season 3. Tomlin co-starred with Reba McEntire in the TV series Malibu Country as Reba's character's mother Lillie Mae. The series started shooting in August 2012 with a premiere date of November 2, 2012 at 8:30pm ET, but was canceled in 2013 after 18 episodes. Tomlin stars opposite Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston in the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie. Tomlin plays Frankie Bergstein, recently separated from her husband of forty years (Waterston), while Fonda plays Grace Hanson, recently separated from her husband (Sheen). Grace and Frankie become reluctant friends after learning their husbands are leaving them to be with one another. She received her first Emmy nomination as a lead actress for the role. Tomlin met her future wife, writer Jane Wagner, in March 1971. After watching the after-school TV special "J.T." written by Wagner, Tomlin invited Wagner to Los Angeles to collaborate on Tomlin's comedy LP record album And That's The Truth. The couple had no formal coming out. Tomlin said in 2006:
  • 2009
    Tomlin and Kathryn Joosten were in talks to star in a Desperate Housewives spin-off, which was given the green light in May 2009.
    More Details Hide Details The series plan was scrapped due to Joosten's illness, a recurrence of lung cancer; Joosten died on June 2, 2012, twenty days after the onscreen death from cancer of her Desperate Housewives character, Karen McCluskey. Tomlin guest-starred as Marilyn Tobin in the third season of Damages and in an episode of NCIS, most notably the Season 9 episode, "The Penelope Papers", playing Agent Timothy McGee's (Sean Murray) grandmother, Penelope Langston.
  • 2008
    During the 2008 Emmy Awards, Tomlin appeared as part of a tribute to the influential 1960s television series Laugh-In.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin voiced Tammy in the 2005 The Simpsons episode, "The Last of the Red Hat Mamas". Tomlin provided a voice for the film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, which was released in August 2009. Since its launch in 2008, Tomlin has been a contributor for, a website for women to talk culture, politics and gossip.
    In the 2008-2009 fifth season of Desperate Housewives she has a recurring role as Roberta, the sister of Mrs. McCluskey (played by Kathryn Joosten, who coincidentally had played Tomlin's secretarial predecessor on The West Wing).
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  • 2005
    In 2005 and 2006, she had a recurring role as Will Truman's boss Margot on Will & Grace.
    More Details Hide Details She appeared on the dramatic series The West Wing for four years (2002–2006) in the recurring role of presidential secretary Deborah Fiderer.
  • 2003
    In 2003, she made two commercials as an "updated" 'Ernestine' for WebEx.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin brought 'Edith Ann' to the forefront again in the 1990s with three animated prime-time television specials. She published Edith Ann's "autobiography" My Life (1995), co-written with Jane Wagner.
  • 1994
    Tomlin voiced Ms. Frizzle on the animated television series The Magic School Bus from 1994 to 1997.
    More Details Hide Details Also, in the 1990s, Tomlin appeared on the popular sitcom Murphy Brown as the title character's boss.
  • 1989
    In 1989, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin premiered her one-woman show Not Playing with a Full Deck at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in November 2009. It was her first appearance in that city, though she did tape an Emmy-winning TV special, a spoof of Las Vegas called Lily: Sold Out which premiered on CBS in January 1981.
  • 1988
    Tomlin and Bette Midler played two pairs of identical twins who were switched at birth in the 1988 comedy, Big Business.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin also played chain-smoking waitress Doreen Piggott in Altman's 1993 ensemble film Short Cuts, based on stories by Raymond Carver. Tomlin performed in two films by director David O. Russell; she appeared as a peacenik Raku artist in Flirting with Disaster and later, as an existential detective in I ♥ Huckabees. In 2007, a video recording surfaced showing Tomlin and Russell in a heated exchange over the shooting of a scene in Huckabees. Tomlin collaborated again with director Robert Altman in what would prove to be his last film, A Prairie Home Companion (2006). She played Rhonda Johnson, one half of a middle-aged Midwestern singing duo partnered with Meryl Streep.
  • 1985
    In 1985, Tomlin starred in another one-woman Broadway show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, written by her long-time life partner, writer/producer Jane Wagner.
    More Details Hide Details The show won her a Tony Award, and was made into a feature film in 1991. Tomlin revived the show for a run on Broadway in 2000 which then toured the country through mid-2002.
  • 1981
    Tomlin starred in the 1981 science fiction comedy, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, a send-up of consumerism, and was the sickly heiress in the comedy, All of Me, opposite Steve Martin.
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  • 1980
    Tomlin soon had the greatest hit of her film career with 1980's 9 to 5, in which she played a secretary named Violet Newstead who joins coworkers Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in seeking revenge on their monstrous boss, Franklin M. Hart, Jr., played by Dabney Coleman.
    More Details Hide Details The film was a huge success and one of the year's top-grossing films.
  • 1978
    One of the few widely panned projects of Tomlin's career was 1978's Moment by Moment, directed and written by Wagner, which teamed Tomlin in a cross-generational older woman/younger man romance with John Travolta.
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  • 1977
    A comedy-mystery, The Late Show, teaming Tomlin with Art Carney, was a critical success in 1977.
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    Her 1977 release Lily Tomlin On Stage, was an adaptation of her Broadway show that year.
    More Details Hide Details Each of these albums earned Tomlin additional Grammy nominations. Tomlin recorded a single/EP called "The Last Duet" with Barry Manilow. Tomlin made her dramatic debut in Robert Altman's Nashville, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; she played Linnea Reese, a straitlaced, gospel-singing mother of two deaf children who has an affair with a womanizing country singer (played by Keith Carradine). The Oscar that year went to Lee Grant for her role in Shampoo.
  • 1975
    Tomlin's third comedy album, 1975's Modern Scream, a parody of movie magazines and celebrity interviews features her performing as multiple characters, including Ernestine, Edith Ann, Judith and Suzie.
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  • 1972
    Tomlin's second album, 1972's And That's The Truth, a collection of monologues as Edith Ann, was nearly as successful, peaking at #41 on the chart and earning another Grammy nomination. (Tomlin has two of the three top charting female comedy albums on Billboard, sandwiching a 1983 Joan Rivers release.)
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    Tomlin released her first comedy album on Polydor Records in 1972, This Is A Recording, an album of Ernestine's run-ins with customers over the phone.
    More Details Hide Details The album hit #15 on the Billboard Hot 200, becoming (and remaining as of 2011) the highest-charting album ever by a solo comedienne. She would earn a Grammy award that year for Best Comedy Recording.
    Tomlin won a Grammy Award for her 1972 comedy album This Is a Recording.
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  • 1970
    In 1970, AT&T offered Tomlin $500,000 to play her character 'Ernestine' in a commercial, but she declined, saying it would compromise her artistic integrity.
    More Details Hide Details In 1976 she appeared on Saturday Night Live as 'Ernestine' in a Ma Bell advertisement parody in which she proclaimed, "We don't care, we don't have to we're the phone company." The character later made a guest appearance at The Superhighway Summit at UCLA, January 11, 1994, interrupting a speech being given on the information superhighway by then-Vice President Al Gore. She appeared as three of her minor characters in a 1998 ad campaign for Fidelity Investments, which did not include 'Ernestine' and 'Edith Ann.'
  • 1969
    In 1969, after a stint as a hostess on the ABC series Music Scene, Tomlin joined NBC's sketch comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin was an instant success on the already established program, in which in addition to appearing in general sketches and delivering comic gags, she began appearing as the regular characters she created; they became well known and she portrayed them outside of the show in later recordings and television specials: Tomlin was one of the first female comedians to break out in male drag with her characters Tommy Velour and Rick. In 1982, she premiered Pervis Hawkins, a black rhythm-and-blues soul singer (patterned after Luther Vandross), with a mustache, beard and close-cropped afro hairstyle, dressed in a three-piece suit. Tomlin used very little, if any, skin-darkening cosmetics as part of the character, instead depending on stage lighting to create the effect. 'Ernestine' and 'Edith Ann' were by far Tomlin's most popular characters. She occasionally performed as them in various television special programs over the years.
  • 1965
    Her first television appearance was on The Merv Griffin Show in 1965.
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  • 1957
    She is a 1957 graduate of Cass Technical High School.
    More Details Hide Details Tomlin attended Wayne State University and originally studied Biology. She auditioned for a play, and it sparked her interest in a career in the theatre and she changed her major. After college, Tomlin began doing stand-up comedy in nightclubs in Detroit and later in New York City. She continued studying acting at the HB Studio.
  • 1939
    Born on September 1, 1939.
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