Lily Tomlin Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Lily Tomlin      

Actress & Comedian; Star of Netflix's "Grace and Frankie"

Actress Lily Tomlin made her television debut on "The Garry Moore Show" in 1966. In 1969, she joined the cast of "Laugh-In," which catapulted her to stardom. Audiences fell in love with the hilarious characters she created including Edith Ann, a mischievous 6-year-old, and snarky telephone operator Ernestine. Tomlin appeared on the show until it went off the air in 1973.

After her successful run on "Laugh-In," Tomlin went on to star in six television comedy specials that she co-wrote with Jane Wagner. Tomlin and Wagner met in 1971 when Tomlin was looking for a writer to help her develop the character of Edith Ann. They felt an immediate connection, both professional and personal, and became a couple.

Tomlin made her film debut in Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975). Her performance as a gospel singer and mother of two deaf children earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. She went on to appear in "The Late Show" (1977) with Art Carney; "Moment By Moment" (1978) with John Travolta and written by Wagner; "Nine to Five" (1980) with Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda; "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981) with Charles Grodin and written by Wagner; "All of Me" (1984) with Steve Martin, "Big Business" (1988) with Bette Midler; "Shadows and Fog" directed by Woody Allen (1993); "Short Cuts" (1993) directed by Altman; "Flirting with Disaster" with Ben Stiller (1996); and "Tea With Mussolini" with Judi Dench and Cher and directed by Franco Zeffirelli (1999).

Following a break from the big screen, Tomlin resurfaced with "I Heart Huckabees" (2004) with Dustin Hoffman and directed by David O. Russell, and "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006) which reunited Tomlin with Altman for his last film. She also starred in "Pink Panther II" (2009) with Martin, "Admission" (2013) with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd and "Grandma" (2015) directed by Paul Weitz.

While appearing on the big screen, Tomlin made her Broadway debut in "Appearing Nitely" (1977), which was written and directed by Wagner. The show incorporated favorite Tomlin roles including Ernestine and housewife Judith Beasley, and introduced new characters such as Trudy the bag lady, Rick the singles bar cruiser and Sister Boogie Woman, a 77-year-old blues revivalist.

Tomlin returned to Broadway in 1985 and won a Tony Award for her performance in the one-woman show "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," which was written by Wagner. After a year-long run on Broadway, the show toured the country, was made into a 1991 film and revived on Broadway in 2000.

In 1993, Tomlin continued her work in television, appearing in the HBO special "And the Band Played On" about the AIDS epidemic. She has guest starred in numerous TV shows as well, including portraying the matriarch in "Damages," a role which earned her an Emmy nod among a slew of previous nominations and wins; and the narcissistic mother of Lisa Kudrow's character on "Web Therapy."

Tomlin has also done voiceover work for several projects, including playing science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the popular animated TV series "The Magic School Bus," for which she earned a Daytime Emmy; Tammy in "The Last of the Red Hat Mamas" episode of "The Simpsons;" and the character Mommo in the animated feature film "The Ant Bully" (2006).

In 2015, Tomlin starred with Fonda in the Netflix series "Grace and Frankie," in which they play two women whose lives are rocked after their husbands fall in love. Tomlin received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance. She also received two Golden Globe nominations—one for her role on "Grace" and the other for the big-screen outing "Grandma."

Speech Topics

An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin


QA: 'Admission' Star Lily Tomlin on Playing Tina Fey's Mom | Movies ...

It's somehow fitting for comedy legend Lily Tomlin to play Tina Fey's mother in the new dramedy Admission, opening nationwide Friday. Tomlin portrays.

Lily Tomlin, Women And Diversity Rule As L.A. Film Festival Opens With Promise Of Independence

“I’m not sure why we don’t try to use this festival to kick off Oscar season in a bigger way,” Sony Pictures Classics’ co-President Tom Bernard observed at last night’s opening party for the Los Angeles Film Festival, which launched with SPC’s upcoming August 21st release, Grandma.

‘Grandma’ Star Lily Tomlin on Feminism, Gay Rights, Stardom at 75 … and Donald Trump

At the age of 75, Lily Tomlin is enjoying the kind of career resurgence that you could describe as surprising – except that Tomlin spent five decades as a distinctive, often groundbreaking comic voice who never seemed dependent on waves of popularity...

Lily Tomlin To Be Honored With SAG Life Achievement Award

Lily Tomlin – an entertainment maverick whose talents put her at the pinnacle of comedy, acting, writing and producing – has been named the 53rd recipient of SAG-AFTRA's highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment...

Lily Tomlin talks life and career on eve of O.C. performance

A few days before Lily Tomlin walked the red carpet at the Emmys, where she was up for best actress in a comedy, the actress and comedian took a few moments to reflect on how busy her life and career remain half a century after she broke into showbiz....

Related Speakers View all

More like Lily