Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin’s extraordinary career as a funny lady bloomed on the TV show Laugh-In in 1969, the year of the Stonewall rebellion. Fittingly, she has woven feminism and LGBT life into her characters—the not-so-hardworking phone operator Ernestine, Violet Newstead in 9 to 5 and the numerous personas populating The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, the one-woman play written by Tomlin’s partner Jane Wagner, for which Tomlin won a Tony Award. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for her turn as Linnea Reese in Robert Altman’s Nashville, played recurring roles on TV shows from Murphy Brown to The West Wing, and has won six Emmys, a Grammy, and a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1977. Tomlin, who has called Wagner the most influential person in her life and career, narrated 1995’s landmark LGBT documentary The Celluloid Closet. –KL

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