Lily Tomlin - A Very Funny Woman:
Lily Tomlin is an American actor and comedian best known for her character sketches on the 1970s TV show Laugh In and numerous movies including 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton in 1980, The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981 and I Heart Huckabees in 2004.
Lily Tomlin- Out Lesbian Performer:
Lily Tomlin has won numerous awards, including a Tony award for Best Actress in a Play 1986 for The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. She's also won Grammy for best comedy album and several Emmy awards. She was nominated for an Academy Award Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1975 film Nashville.
Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In:
Born in 1939, Lily Tomlin began her career as a stand-up comedian in Detroit and New York City in the 1950s. She joined the cast of the sketch comedy show Laugh In in 1969. She quickly became popular for her portrayal of different characters, including telephone operator Ernestine and the bratty child Edith Ann rocking in an over-sized rocking chair.
Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner:
Lily Tomlin met her life partner Jane Wagner in 1971. Lily saw an after school special that Jane had written and invited her to Los Angeles to collaborate on a comedy album. The two quickly fell in love and continue to work and live together after more than three decades.
Lily Tomlin Was Never Really in the Closet:
Although it wasn't until 2001 that Lily Tomlin officially came out in the press, she is adamant that she never really was in the closet. In an interview with Just Out newspaper, she says, "Everybody in the industry was certainly aware of my sexuality and of Jane." She added, "In interviews I always reference Jane and talk about Jane, but they don't always write about it."
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe:
Jane Wagner wrote and Lily Tomlin starred in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, the highly acclaimed one-woman show that played on Broadway in 1986 and again in 2001. It won numerous awards and acclaim from reviewers, including this from Talking Broadway, "Is there a more gifted, emotionally ravishing, talented, and astonishingly funny actress in the world than Lily Tomlin?... Most actresses would consider it a job well done to bring only one, or at most a few of these characters to life in a single performance. Here, within 130 minutes, Miss Tomlin triumphs with each character in turn."
The Celluloid Closet :
In 1995, Lily Tomlin narrated a documentary The Celluloid Closet
, based on the book by Vito Russo about the negative and stereotypical portrayal of gay and lesbian characters in Hollywood movies.
Lily Tomlin Quotes:
On what the secret to the success of her relationship with Jane Wagner is:
(from Metro Weekly
)"I think just knowing that it takes real attention and caring and time and effort and work and knowing that it's a commitment. And it's respecting. I respect her talent and her brain and who she is as a person -- and that kind of admiration and respect is a big factor in binding someone in a relationship. I know what a good heart she has, and how empathetic she is with all kinds of people and issues -- she's so brilliant on top of it that she can voice these things. And she's as funny as she can possibly be. She makes me laugh."
"I didn't want to be known as a gay comedian; I wanted to be known as a human comedian. I don't think gay people's experience as humans is as different from any other humans. I was never secretive, but I never held a press conference." (from Just Out).
Sources: AfterEllen.com, Just Out newspaper, May 20, 2008, Metro Weekly, Talking Broadway, IBDB.com