Lily Tomlin

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Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin (born September 1, 1939) is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer. She has won multiple awards from many quarters, including Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award and has also been nominated for an Academy Award.


Early life

Tomlin was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Lillie Mae (née Ford), a housewife and nurse's aide, and Guy Tomlin, a factory worker.[1] Tomlin's parents were Southern Baptists who moved to Detroit from Paducah, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.[2][3][4] She is a 1957 graduate of Cass Technical High School. Tomlin attended Wayne State University, where her interest in the theater and performing arts began. After college, Tomlin began doing stand-up comedy in nightclubs in Detroit and later in New York City. Her first television appearance was on The Merv Griffin Show in 1965.


In 1969, after a brief stint as a hostess on the ABC Television series Music Scene, Tomlin joined NBC's sketch comedy show Laugh-In. Some characters from this show have been associated with her throughout her career, including the wisecracking, snorting telephone operator, Ernestine; the bratty five-year-old Edith Ann, seated in an over-sized rocking chair making rude noises while telling stories about her baby brother and pet dog Buster; and the Tasteful Lady, who lives a gracious, naїve life of entitlement in the upper class and shades of whom show up in Tomlin's film role in All of Me (see below). Additional characters include Susie the Sorority Girl, who appeared on Tomlin's album Modern Scream and in her 1975 appearance on Saturday Night Live.

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