Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced it will honor iconic actress and comedian Lily Tomlin with a hand and footprint ceremony at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX® in Hollywood during the eleventh annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Friday, April 17. Tomlin, a Tony®, Grammy®, eight time Emmy® and two time Peabody Award® winner, has had a remarkable career starting in the 1960s starring in cinematic classics, television staples and on stage.
“Lily Tomlin’s talent has endured for fifty years because she knows who she is. She’s managed to play broadly drawn roles alongside more nuanced characters without a hint of falseness,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. “Not long ago, Tomlin told The New York Times, ‘I wanted people to see the characters as human beings. And see themselves in them, too.’ The humanity she finds in the women she plays has enabled her to transition, seemingly with ease, from groundbreaking work on ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In’ to four Emmy nominations for ‘Grace and Frankie,’ where she co-stars alongside another seminal artist, Jane Fonda. There’s a consistent richness to her work, in comedy and drama, as well as on stage in her innovative one-woman show, ‘The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,’ and on the big screen. Whether your favorite Lily Tomlin performance is ‘The Late Show’ or ‘9 to 5’ or ‘Nashville’…wait, I’m not done. Or ‘All of Me,’ ‘Flirting with Disaster,’ ‘I Heart Huckabees,’ or ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ you know all of those pictures were made more memorable because Lily Tomlin was among the cast. It’s hard to imagine a more deserving artist to have her hand and footprints cemented outside Hollywood’s signature classic movie house.”
This marks the tenth consecutive year TCM has featured a hand and footprint ceremony at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®. In 2011, Peter O'Toole was the honoree, followed by Kim Novak in 2012, Jane Fonda in 2013, Jerry Lewis in 2014, Christopher Plummer in 2015, Francis Ford Coppola in 2016, Carl and Rob Reiner in 2017, Cicely Tyson in 2018, and Billy Crystal in 2019.
Lily Tomlin Biography
Lily Tomlin, one of America's foremost comediennes, continues to venture across an ever-widening range of media, starring in television, theater, motion pictures, animation, video and social media. Throughout her extraordinary career, Tomlin has received numerous awards, including: eight Emmys, with 25 primetime and five daytime nominations; a Tony for her one woman Broadway show, “Appearing Nitely”; a second Tony for Best Actress, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics’ Circle Award for her one woman performance in Jane Wagner’s “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”; a CableAce Award for Executive Producing the film adaptation of “The Search”; a Grammy for her comedy album, “This is a Recording” as well as nominations for her subsequent albums “Modern Scream,” “And That's the Truth,” and “On Stage”; and two Peabody Awards--the first for the ABC television special, “Edith Ann’s Christmas (Just Say Noël)”, and the second for narrating and executive producing the HBO film, “The Celluloid Closet.” In 2003, she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and, in December 2014, was the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in Washington DC.
Television: Tomlin made her television debut in 1966 on “The Garry Moore Show” and then made several memorable appearances on “The Merv Griffin Show,” which led to a move to California where she appeared as a regular on “Music Scene.” In December 1969, Tomlin joined the cast of the top-rated “Laugh-In” and immediately rose to national prominence with her characterizations of Ernestine, the irascible telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish six year old. When “Laugh-In” left the air, Tomlin went on to co-write, with Jane Wagner, and star in six comedy television specials: “The Lily Tomlin Show” (1973), “Lily” (1973), “Lily” (1975), “Lily Tomlin” (1975), “Lily: Sold Out” (1981), and “Lily for President?” (1982) for which she won three Emmy Awards and a Writers’ Guild of America Award. Tomlin also starred in the HBO special about the AIDS epidemic, “And the Band Played On” (1993). She has guest starred on numerous television shows, such as “Saturday Night Live,” “Homicide,” “X-Files” and “Will and Grace,” and played the boss on the popular CBS series, “Murphy Brown.” She is also heard as the voice of the science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the popular children’s animated series, “The Magic School Bus,” for which she was awarded an Emmy.
In 2002, Tomlin joined the cast of the hit NBC series, “The West Wing,” playing President Bartlett’s assistant, Debbie Fiderer--a role for which she received a 2003 Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series. Tomlin continued in the role of Debbie through 2006, the final season of “West Wing.” In the past few years, Tomlin has made several guest appearances on “Desperate Housewives,” “NCIS,” “Eastbound and Down,” and guest starred in the acclaimed FX series, “Damages,” in the Emmy-nominated role of matriarch of a wealthy New York family accused of financial fraud. In 2012, Tomlin co-starred with Reba McEntire on the ABC series, “Malibu Country,” and was seen on the Showtime series, “Web Therapy,” as Lisa Kudrow's narcissistic mother. She also produced, with Jane Wagner, and narrated the HBO documentary, “An Apology to Elephants,” for which Tomlin received an Emmy Award for Narration. Tomlin is currently co-starring with Jane Fonda in the widely popular Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie,” which premiered in May 2015. The sixth season recently premiered in January 2020 and the seventh and final season will premiere in 2021. In the first four seasons, Tomlin has been nominated for an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and in the first season a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Tomlin was recently honored with the Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.
Stage: Tomlin made her Broadway debut in the 1977 play, “Appearing Nitely,” written and directed by Jane Wagner. “Appearing Nitely” included such favorites as Ernestine and Judith Beasley, the Calumet City housewife, and also introduced Trudy the bag lady, Crystal the hang-gliding quadriplegic, Rick the singles bar cruiser, Glenna as a child of the sixties, and Sister Boogie Woman, a 77-year-old blues revivalist who preaches cheap thrills for the elderly. “Appearing Nitely” was later adapted as both an album and an HBO Special. Tomlin next appeared on Broadway in 1985 in a year-long, SRO run of Jane Wagner’s critically acclaimed play, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.” The Broadway success was followed by a coast-to-coast, 14-city tour that spanned four and a half years. Tomlin extended this extraordinary theatrical career with a cross-country, 29-city tour of “The Search,” a new production of “The Search” on Broadway, a record-breaking, six-month run of the production in San Francisco, and a six week run as part of the 2004 season at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles
Movies: On film, Tomlin made her debut as Linnea, a gospel singer and mother of two deaf children in Robert Altman's “Nashville” (1975); her memorable performance was nominated for an Academy Award, and she also won the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress. She next starred opposite Art Carney as a would-be actress living on the fringes of Hollywood in Robert Benton's “The Late Show” (1977). She went on to star with John Travolta as a lonely housewife in Jane Wagner’s “Moment By Moment” (1978), and then teamed with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in the late Colin Higgins' comedy, “9 to 5” (1980). She starred as the happy homemaker who became “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” (1981), written by Jane Wagner, and the eccentric rich woman whose soul invades Steve Martin's body in Carl Reiner's popular “All of Me” (1984). She then teamed with Bette Midler for “Big Business” (1988).
In the 90’s, Tomlin starred in the film adaptation of “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life In the Universe” (1991); appeared as part of an ensemble cast in Woody Allen's “Shadows and Fog” (1992); starred opposite Tom Waits in Robert Altman's “Short Cuts” (1993); and portrayed Miss Jane Hathaway in the screen adaptation of the popular television series “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1993). Tomlin also played a cameo role in “The Player” (1992) and “Blue in the Face” (1995), starred in the David O. Russell film “Flirting With Disaster” (1996) and joined Jack Lemmon, Dan Akroyd and Bonnie Hunt in “Getting Away with Murder” (1996). Tomlin starred opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Jenna Elfman in Buena Vista’s “Krippendorf’s Tribe” (1998) and co-starred with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Cher in the Franco Zeffirelli film “Tea with Mussolini” (1999).
Tomlin then starred with Bruce Willis in “Disney’s The Kid” (2000) and appeared in a quirky cameo role in “Orange County” (2002). Tomlin co-starred with Dustin Hoffman in “I Heart Huckabee’s,” a David O. Russell comedy that explores the emotional idiosyncrasies of life (2004). She was seen in “A Prairie Home Companion” (2006), written by Garrison Keillor and directed by Robert Altman, in which she and Meryl Streep appear as a sister-singing act. Tomlin appeared in Paul Schrader's film, “The Walker” (2007), co-starring with Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Lauren Bacall. Tomlin played a sensitivity-training expert assigned to instruct employees on social and political correctness with Steve Martin as Inspector Clousseau in “Pink Panther II” (2009). Tomlin starred in a Paul Weitz movie with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, “Admission” (2013), and stars in a second movie which Paul Weitz specifically wrote for Tomlin, “Grandma” (2015). “Grandma,” which received substantial critical and audience praise, brought Tomlin a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a movie comedy. For her extensive work in film, Tomlin has received the Crystal Award from Women in Film.
Philanthropy: Tomlin is well-known for supporting philanthropic organizations, particularly those focused on animal welfare, civil rights, health care, protection of elephants, women’s issues, AIDS-related organizations, environmental concerns, overcoming homelessness and supporting the LGBTQ community in all aspects of life. She has given countless fund-raising performances for organizations across the country, including The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Rosie's Place in Boston, Project Home in Philadelphia, Fenway Health Center, One Fair Wage, and many community action groups. Tomlin has contributed in other ways to improve conditions for all living things, such as founding the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center. Tomlin and Wagner together also founded the Goosebump Garden at the internationally known LGBT Fenway Health Center in Boston and have been involved in its growth for over 25 years.
As part of her concern for animals, Tomlin earned an Emmy for her narration of the documentary “An Apology to Elephants.” She has worked with elephant activists all over the country to take elephants out of zoos, is on the boards of Actors and Others for Animals and the Shambala Sanctuary. She also works with PAWS Elephant Sanctuary in California. She has received the Petco Foundation’s Hope Award for being a leader in animal welfare, and she established the Voice for the Animals Foundation’s ‘Lily Award’. Tomlin's humanitarian efforts earned her the Honickman Foundation’s Golden Heart Award for her impact in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
On New Year's Eve 2013, Tomlin and Wagner were married in a private ceremony with friends. Tomlin can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and her entire career in art, text, photos and videos can be found at www.lilytomlin.com.
About the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®
Since 1927, The TCL Chinese Theatre has been the home of the most important, star powered red carpet movie premieres and special events, where Hollywood’s biggest and brightest talents have come to watch their movies. The most famous movie theatre on the globe is world-renowned for its unique forecourt of the stars, featuring cement hand and footprints of major movie stars, from Marilyn Monroe to Brad Pitt, and numerous stars from all eras of Hollywood. In 2013, the main theatre was relaunched as the world’s largest IMAX® theatre.
About the 2020 Classic Film Festival
For the 11th consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2020 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 16 – Sunday, April 19, 2020. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.
TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. The festival's official hotel and central gathering point for the 11th consecutive year will be The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will also offer special rates for festival attendees. Screenings and events during the festival will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre, the Legion Theater at Hollywood Post 43 and the Cinerama Dome, as well as other Hollywood venues. For the latest news and information, follow us on social at #TCMFF and learn more at www.tcm.com/festival.
This year’s theme is “Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film,” which will take fans on a journey to enchanted worlds of fantasy and stories beyond belief. From myths and magical creatures to ghostly encounters and travels through time, they will escape with fellow movie lovers to places that will ignite their imagination.
For information on press credentials, please visit the Festival’s media page.