Board of Governors

July 18, 2013

Lily Tomlin, Performers

Lily Tomlin first rose to fame in 1969 on the television series Laugh-In, with her characterizations of Ernestine, the irascible telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish six-year-old in the big rocking chair.

Following her early success on television, Tomlin made her Broadway debut in Appearing Nitely (1977) and later starred in the critically acclaimed play, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1985). Both shows were written and directed by Jane Wagner and both earned Tomlin a Tony Award. Wagner and Tomlin also produced three animated specials based on her character Edith Ann.

Tomlin produced and starred in four Grammy-nominated comedy albums, winning the Grammy for This Is a Recording, and has also co-produced and starred in eight award-winning comedy television specials. She has starred in several television series, including Murphy Brown, The West Wing, Desperate Housewives, Damages, Malibu Country, and currently stars in Grace and Frankie with Jane Fonda as a pair of rivals who find out that their husbands are running off together.

Her 1975 film debut in Robert Altman’s Nashville was nominated for an Oscar. Since then, she has starred in more than 20 films, including The Incredible Shrinking Woman, 9 to 5, All of Me, Big Business, Tea with Mussolini, I Heart Huckabees, A Prairie Home Companion, Admission, and Grandma, released in 2015. Tomlin has also been awarded two Peabodys, a WGA Award and eight Emmy Awards. In 2003, she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2014.