We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin


9/1/1939, Detriot, Michigan

Birth Name

Mary Jean Tomlin


  • Lily Tomlin in Malibu Country
  • Lily Tomlin
out of 10
User Rating
45 votes


Lily Tomlin was born September 1, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan. A standup comedian and award-winning star of stage, film and television, Tomlin gained instant fame when she joined the cast of the highly popular television show Laugh In in 1969. The popularity of the original characters she created…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2013, Lily won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance playing The Narrator on An Apology to Elephants.

    • In 2002, Lily was honored with the Career Tribute Award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

    • In 2000, Lily was honored with the Lily Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival.

    • Lily stands at 5'8" or 1.73 m.

    • According to Celebrity Sleuth magazine, Lily's measurements are 34C-25-35.

    • In 1995, Lily won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program playing Ms. Valerie Frizzle on The Magic School Bus.

    • Lily hopes to one day author a line of children's books, geared towards kids with special needs.

    • Lily's favorite music includes: Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, The O'Jays, and The Beatles.

    • Lily's favorite women to work with are Jane Curtain and Bette Midler, citing that they have a chemistry between them.

    • Lily and Meryl Streep presented Robert Altman with his honorary Oscar on March 15th, 2006 at the 78th Academy Awards Show.

    • Lily worked on Broadway as a waitress at Howard Johnson's restaurant, before making her break into performing.

    • Lily was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2003.

    • Lily's favorite comediennes are Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, and Carol Burnett.

    • Lily's favorite actors are: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Liam Neeson, and Robert DeNiro.

    • Lily enjoys outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing, and bicycling.

    • Lily won the Sarah Sidons Award for her work in Chicago Theater in 2002.

    • Lily starred in the 1985 one woman Broadway show The Search For Signs of Intelligent life in the Universe. It was written by her life partner of thirty years, Jane Wagner.

    • Lily is now open about her sexuality. Before she 'came out', she associated herself with feminist and gay-friendly film productions. She refused to discuss her private life with the press in the '90's, until she publicly announced on the New York City access TV Program Gay USA that she was indeed a lesbian.

    • Lily was nominated for an Academy Award for 'Best Supporting Actress', for her role in Nashville. She portrayed a mother of two deaf children who has an affair with a country singer played by Keith Carradine.

    • Lily was offered $500,000 to film a commercial for AT&T phone company as her charcter Ernestine. She refused the role, fearing that it would cheapen her artistic integrity. She did, however film two commercials as Ernestine 4 years later, for WebEx.

    • Lilly's first television appearance was in 1965, on The Merv Griffin Show.

    • Lilly started her comedy career by performing stand-up routines in nightclubs in Detroit and New York city.

    • Lilly attended Wayne State University, where her interest in theater and performing arts began.

    • Lilly uses Chinese healing practices rather than western medicine, she uses accupuncture and herbs.

    • In 2003 Lily won the Kennedy Center's prestigious Mark Twain Prize for Humor.

    • In 1971 Lily won a Grammy Award for the comedy album This is a Recording.

    • During her one-woman show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lily appeared as her own opening act. A smarmy male lounge singer billed as Tommy Velour.

    • Before a performance of one of her one-woman shows in New York City, Lily 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.

    • In 1993 Lily gave away genuine locks of her hair as a bonus for buyers of her home video library.

    • Lily studied mime with Paul Curtis.

    • Lily studied acting under Charles Nelson Reilly, who introduced her to the works of monologuist Ruth Draper, a major inspiration for Lily's work.

  • Quotes

  • comedianne, actor with a long history, diverse person

    I first remember seeing Lily on children's tv (Sesame Street?) in a huge chair playing a little girl giving a raspberry. My parents had a record of her comedy and she played a phone operator that is her trademark. I then recall her on "9 to 5" comedy. After reading her quotes here, she is definitely not a traditional woman. Her look alone is unique. Lily comes across as a bright, strong woman that knows what she wants. I am sure she has put the sparkle in females' eyes for a long time now. A diverse woman with a long history of entertainment for us.moreless