Lily Tomlin

Actor, Comedian, Comedy writer
With an illustrious career that spanned decades on stage and screen beginning in the 1960s, academic-minded actress-comedian Lily Tomlin found a penchant for mimicry and social commentary that wove its way into the ... Read more »
Born: 09/01/1939 in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Filmography

Actor (165)

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2016 - 2017 (TV Show)

Honoree

The Late Late Show With James Corden 2015 - 2016 (Tv Show)

Guest

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert 2016 (Tv Show)

Guest

Grandma 2015 (Movie)

Elle Reid (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Late Night with Seth Meyers 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Web Therapy 2011 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dateline NBC 2014 (Tv Show)

Herself

Admission 2013 (Movie)

Susannah (Actor)

An Apology to Elephants 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Narrator

Inside Comedy 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Malibu Country 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic 2013 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Why We Laugh: Funny Women 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Carol Channing: Larger Than Life 2012 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Stars In Shorts 2012 (Movie)

Mum (Actor)

NCIS 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Damages 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Vito 2010 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Desperate Housewives 2008 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

George Carlin: Mark Twain Prize 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Ponyo 2009 (Movie)

Voice of Toki (Actor)

The 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The Pink Panther 2 2009 (Movie)

Mrs Berenger (Actor)

The 62nd Annual Tony Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2007 Film Independent's Spirit Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

The Walker 2007 (Movie)

Abigail Delorean (Actor)

A Prairie Home Companion 2006 (Movie)

Rhonda Johnson (Actor)

The 78th Annual Academy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ant Bully 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Mommo (Actor)

The West Wing 2002 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Will & Grace 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Simpsons 2005 (Tv Show)

Voice

I Heart Huckabees 2004 (Movie)

Vivian Jaffe (Actor)

Women on Top: Hollywood and Power 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

I Love Lucy -- 50th Anniversary Special 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Orange County 2002 (Movie)

Charlotte Cobb (Actor)

The Heroes of Black Comedy 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

46th Annual Drama Desk Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Host

Only a Teacher 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The First Ten Awards: Tony 2001 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Performer

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Disney's The Kid 2000 (Movie)

Janet (Actor)

Get Bruce 1999 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Intimate Portrait: Ann Richards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Bella Abzug 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Tea With Mussolini 1999 (Movie)

Georgie (Actor)

American Comedy Honors 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Performer

Homicide: Life on the Street 1993 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Krippendorf's Tribe 1998 (Movie)

Ruth Allen (Actor)

Murphy Brown 1996 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Reno Finds Her Mom 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Magic School Bus 1994 - 1998 (TV Show)

Voice

The Paula Poundstone Show 1993 - 1994, 1996 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

The X-Files 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Edith Ann's Christmas (Just Say Noel) 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Voice

Night of About 14 CBS Stars 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 11th Annual American Comedy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Magic School Bus Family Holiday Special 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief American Comedy Festival 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Flirting With Disaster 1996 (Movie)

Mary Schlicting (Actor)

Getting Away With Murder 1996 (Movie)

Inga Mueller (Actor)

Reno Finds Her Mom 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

The 10th Annual American Comedy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Performer

The 50th Annual Tony Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Performer

The Celluloid Closet 1996 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Blue in the Face 1995 (Movie)

Belgian Waffle Man (Actor)

Who Makes You Laugh? 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

But... Seriously 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Edith Ann -- A Few Pieces of the Puzzle 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Edith Ann: Homeless Go Home 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Voice

Growing Up Funny 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

In a New Light '93 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 8th Annual American Comedy Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Women Aloud 1991 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Back to School '92 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Mo' Funny: Black Comedy in America 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In 25th Anniversary 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Short Cuts 1993 (Movie)

Doreen Piggot (Actor)

The 14th Annual CableACE Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Host

The 47th Annual Tony Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Performer

The Beverly Hillbillies 1993 (Movie)

Miss Hathaway (Actor)

10th Annual Montreal Comedy Festival 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Party For Richard Pryor 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Shadows and Fog 1992 (Movie)

Prostitute (Actor)

The 18th Annual People's Choice Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 34th Annual Grammy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 6th Annual American Comedy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Performer

The Player 1992 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

A Salute to America's Pets 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

America's All-Star Tribute to Oprah Winfrey 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Performer

Motown 30: What's Goin' On! 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 45th Annual Tony Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Performer

The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Performer

The Movie Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 44th Annual Tony Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer

An All-Star Celebration: The '88 Vote 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Free to Be... a Family 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Performer

The Comedy Club Special 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Big Business 1988 (Movie)

Rose Ratliff (Actor)

Funny, You Don't Look 200 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Superstars and Their Moms 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2nd Annual American Comedy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Performer

The 42nd Annual Tony Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Performer

Caesar's 20th Birthday Celebration 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Lily Tomlin 1987 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Super Night at the Super Bowl 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1st Annual American Comedy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Performer

The Dick Cavett Show 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual Tony Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Performer

CBS' Happy New Year America 1984 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

All of Me 1984 (Movie)

Edwina Cutwater (Actor)

The American Film Institute Salute to Lillian Gish 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Performer

Lily For President 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Lily -- Sold Out 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Incredible Shrinking Woman 1981 (Movie)

Pat Kramer (Actor)

The Muppets Go Hollywood 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

9 to 5 1980 (Movie)

Violet Newstead (Actor)

Moment By Moment 1978 (Movie)

Trisha Rawlings (Actor)

The Paul Simon Special 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Saturday Night Live 1975 - 1977 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Late Show 1976 (Movie)

Margo (Actor)

Flip Wilson... Of Course 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Lily 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

Linnea Reese (Actor)

The Lily Tomlin Special 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In 1967 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Royal Variety Performance 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lily Tomlin Show 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Music Scene 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

And the Band Played On (TV Show)

Actor

Lily (TV Show)

Actor

The Procession (Movie)

(Actor)
Producer (3)

Citizen Reno 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Celluloid Closet 1996 (Movie)

(Co-Executive Producer)
Music (3)

A Prairie Home Companion 2006 (Movie)

("Go Tell Aunt Gladys") (Song Performer)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

("Yes, I Do") (Lyrics)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

("Yes, I Do") (Music)

Biography

With an illustrious career that spanned decades on stage and screen beginning in the 1960s, academic-minded actress-comedian Lily Tomlin found a penchant for mimicry and social commentary that wove its way into the fabric of American culture. After making her debut on "The Garry Moore Show" (CBS, 1950-1967), Tomlin made a splash on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC, 1968-1973), particularly as the nasal-voiced telephone operator Ernestine. She went on to become a Grammy-winning recording artist for her comedy album, This Is a Recording (1972), while also starring in and co-writing three primetime television specials, each of which won Emmy Awards. Tomlin made her feature film debut as a troubled gospel singer in Robert Altman's landmark "Nashville" (1975) before appearing on Broadway for the first time in her one-woman show, "Appearing Nightly" (1977), which she co-wrote with life partner Jane Wagner. She skyrocketed to superstardom opposite Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in the hit comedy "9 to 5" (1980), while her one-woman show, "The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe" (1986), earned Tomlin a Tony Award. On television, she delivered an acclaimed performance in "And the Band Played On" (HBO, 1993), while giving inspired performances in "Short Cuts" (1993) and "Flirting with Disaster" (1996). Tomlin remained capable of turning in acclaimed and often unexpected performances more than five decades into her career, and was rewarded with a mid-2010s resurgence that included a critically-acclaimed situation comedy and her first starring role in over a quarter-century in Paul Weitz's "Grandma" (2015).

Relationships

Guy Tomlin

Father

Richard Tomlin Production Assistant

Brother
Born c. 1943

Lillie Tomlin

Mother

Jane Wagner Writer

Spouse
Met March 1971 and became long-time collaborators and life partners Married December 31, 2013 in New York City.

EDUCATION

Studied mime with Paul Curtis

Cass Technical High School

Detroit , Michigan 1957

Wayne State University

Detroit , Michigan
Left her sophomore year to appear in a walk-on role in "The Mad Woman of Chaillot"(pre-med)

Milestones

2015

Starred opposite Jane Fonda in Netflix series "Grace and Frankie," which she also executive produced.

2015

Starred in Paul Weitz's "Grandma," her first starring role in a feature film in 27 years.

2013

Cast opposite Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in "Admission," directed by Paul Weitz

2012

Played Reba McEntire's no-nonsense mother on ABC sitcom "Malibu Country"

2010

Joined cast during third season of FX's "Damages"

2008

Joined fifth season of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" in recurring role of Kathryn Joosten's sister

2006

Voiced Lucas' kooky grandmother Mommo in animated feature "The Ant Bully"

2006

Re-teamed with director Robert Altman, playing half of a middle-aged Midwestern singing duo with Meryl Streep in ensemble feature "A Prairie Home Companion"

2005

Cast in recurring role as Eric McCormack's boss Margot on NBC's "Will & Grace"

2004

Re-teamed with director David O. Russell to play an existential detective in "I Heart Huckabees"; famously clashed with Russell on set

2002

Joined NBC drama "The West Wing" in recurring role of presidential secretary Deborah Fiderer

2000

Reprised Tony-winning role in Broadway revival of "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe"

1999

Co-starred in Franco Zeffirelli's semi-autobiographical "Tea With Mussolini"

1998

Joined Ed Asner for memorable episode of "The X-Files" (Fox) playing husband-and-wife ghosts

1996

Joined CBS series "Murphy Brown" as producer Kay Carter-Shepley, replacing Grant Shaud for show's final seasons

1996

Reprised "Laugh-In" character for ABC television special "Edith Ann's Christmas: Just Say Noel"

1996

Co-starred with Alan Alda as Ben Stiller's biological parents in David O Russell's "Flirting with Disaster"

1995

Narrated and executive produced HBO film "The Celluloid Closet"

1995

Delivered memorable guest appearance on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC)

1994

Voiced science teacher Ms. Frizzle on popular children’s animated series "The Magic School Bus"

1993

Played chain-smoking waitress Doreen Piggott opposite Tom Waits in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts"

1993

Cast as San Francisco health official Selma Dritz in HBO special about the AIDS epidemic "And the Band Played On"

1992

Appeared as part of an ensemble cast in Woody Allen's "Shadows and Fog"

1991

Starred in film adaptation of "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life In the Universe"

1988

Teamed with Bette Midler, playing two pairs of identical twins who were switched at birth in comedy "Big Business"

1986

Subject of documentary "Lily Tomlin" by Nicholas Broomfield and Joan Churchill; featured scenes from "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe"

1985

Starred on Broadway in Jane Wagner's critically acclaimed one-woman show "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe"

1984

Co-starred with Steve Martin, playing a sickly heiress in Carl Reiner's "All of Me"

1981

Made TV debut as executive producer, "Lily: Sold Out"; also co-wrote with Jane Wagner

1981

Played lead role of a happy homemaker who turns into "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," written by Jane Wagner

1980

Teamed with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in Colin Higgins' workplace comedy "9 to 5"

1977

Made Broadway debut in one-woman show "Appearing Nitely"; also co-wrote and co-directed with Jane Wagner

1977

Starred opposite Art Carney as a would-be actress living on the fringes of Hollywood in Robert Benton's "The Late Show"

1975

Made film debut as a troubled gospel singer in Robert Altman's "Nashville"

1975

Starred in CBS comedy special "The Lily Tomlin Show"; co-wrote with Jane Wagner and Richard Pryor

1973

Starred in first comedy variety show special, "Lily" (CBS)

1970

Released first album This Is a Recording

1968

Made off-Broadway debut in "Arf"

1968

Joined sketch comedy show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (NBC); introduced memorable TV characters such as telephone operator Ernestine and five-year-old Edith Ann

1966

Performed first comic monologues as a regular on "The Garry Moore Show" (CBS)

1965

Made debut television appearance on "The Merv Griffin Show" (NBC)

1965

Moved to NYC and began performing skits on coffee-house circuit, including the Improvisation, Upstairs at the Downstairs, and Cafe Au Go Go

Bonus Trivia

.

Tomlin released four best-selling comedy albums during the 1970s, including This Is A Recording and And That's The Truth, featuring her popular characters Ernestine and Edith-Ann respectively.

.

Tomlin's first leading role in a film came in "Moment By Moment," a romantic drama written and directed by her partner, Jane Wagner. A commercial bomb, the film became an unintentional camp classic and was sometimes noted as one of the worst films of the '70s.

.

Tomlin unsuccessfully sued filmmakers of the "Lily Tomlin" documentary, claiming that too much footage from her Broadway show was used.

.

In 1994, Tomlin made a voice cameo on an episode of "Frasier," as one of the radio psychologist's callers.

.

Reportedly, Tomlin reneged on a promise to Armistead Maupin to publicly 'come out' if he agreed to work on "The Celluloid Closet." Maupin wrote the narration for the documentary, which Tomlin recited."My feeling was the narrator should be an openly gay person or a sympathetic straight person. Instead, I have to endure the cruel irony of a film called "The Celluloid Closet" narrated by a closeted person!" – Maupin quoted in the Village Voice, Jan. 30, 1996

.

In 2007, a video recording surfaced showing Tomlin and director David O. Russell in a heated exchange over the shooting of a scene in "I Heart Huckabees."

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