Oscar Actors: Tomlin, Lily

Lily Tomlin received one Oscar nomination: Best Supporting Actress for “Nashville.”

One of America’s foremost comediennes, Lily Tomlin continues to venture across an ever-widening range of media in an extraordinary career, starring in motion pictures, television, theater, animation, and video. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Ms. Tomlin has received six Emmy Awards; a Writers Guild

of America Award; a Tony Award for her one-woman Broadway show, Appearing Nitely, written and directed by Jane Wagner; and a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for another one-woman show, Ms. Wagner’s The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. The telefilm version of the latter, in which she again starred, brought her a CableAce Award as part of the producing team.

She won a Grammy Award for her comedy album, This is a Recording, and was nominated again for her subsequent albums Modern Scream, And That’s the Truth, and On Stage. Ms. Tomlin was honored with Peabody Awards for the animated television special Edith Ann’s Christmas: Just Say Noël, as well as for narrating and executive-producing The Celluloid Closet. The latter was directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and was based on her friend Vito Russo’s groundbreaking book.

Ms. Tomlin built a strong following with her 1960s appearances at landmark clubs such as The Improvisation, Cafe Au Go Go, and the Upstairs at the Downstairs, where she later opened for the legendary Mabel Mercer. She made her television debut in 1966 on The Garry Moore Show. When she joined the cast of the top-rated Laugh-In, she rose to national prominence with her characterizations of Ernestine, the irascible telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish six-year-old.

She starred in, and wrote with Jane Wagner, multiple award-winning television specials. Ms. Tomlin gave voice to the science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the popular animated series The Magic School Bus, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award. Among her many other television credits have been regular roles on Murphy Brown; The West Wing, for which she received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination; Damages, for which she received an Emmy Award nomination; and Roger Spottiswoode’s telefilm And the Band Played On, which brought her an Emmy nomination for portraying real-life San Francisco public health physician Selma Dritz. Ms. Tomlin currently co-stars on the ABC television series Malibu Country.

Ms. Tomlin’s extensive feature work has earned her the Crystal Award from Women in Film. Among her movies are Robert Benton’s The Late Show, for which she was a Golden Globe Award nominee; Jane Wagner’s Moment by Moment; Colin Higgins’ Nine to Five, with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton; Joel Schumacher’s The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Carl Reiner’s All of Me, for which she was a Golden Globe Award nominee; Jim Abrahams’ Big Business, in a dual role; Franco Zeffirelli’s Tea with Mussolini; and Paul Schrader’s The Walker.

She starred in several films for director Robert Altman, including Short Cuts, A Prairie Home Companion, and her first film, Nashville. For her memorable performance in Nashville as Linnea, Ms. Tomlin was voted Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, and was nominated for an Academy Award.