News and Events
Center for the Arts Presents Comedienne Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin, whose characterizations of irascible telephone operator Ernestine and devilish six-year-old Edith Ann on television's Laugh-In catapulted her to national stardom as one of America's foremost comediennes, returns to Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre for a performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28.
Tomlin continues to venture across an ever-widening range of media, starring in television, theatre, motion pictures, animation, and video. Throughout her extraordinary career, she has received numerous awards, including six Emmys; 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 Noel, and the second for narrating and executive producing the HBO film The Celluloid Closet. In 2003 she was the recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Tomlin made her television debut in 1966 on The Garry Moore Show and then made several memorable appearances on The Merv Griffin Show. In 1969 she joined the cast of the top-rated Laugh-In and immediately rose to national prominence with her hilarious characterizations. When Laugh-In left the air, Tomlin went on to cowrite (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.
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 through2006, the final season of West Wing. In the past few years, Tomlin has made several guest appearances on Desperate Housewives, NCIS, Eastbound & Down, and guest starred in the acclaimed FX series Damages in the Emmy-nominated role of matriarch of a wealthy New York family. This year Tomlin will costar with Reba McEntire on the new ABC series Malibu Country and can also be seen on Showtime's series Web Therapy as Lisa Kudrow's narcissistic mother.
Tomlin made her film 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 both the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics voted Tomlin 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 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 All of Me (1984). She then teamed with Bette Midler for Big Business (1988).
In the '90s 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 Beverly Hillbillies (1993). Tomlin also starred in the Miramax film Flirting with Disaster (1996), and joined Jack Lemmon, Dan Aykroyd, 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 costarred with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Cher in the Franco Zeffirelli film Tea with Mussolini (1999).
Tomlin was seen with Meryl Streep as part of a sister singing act in A Prairie Home Companion (2006), written by Garrison Keillor and directed by Robert Altman. Tomlin next appeared in Paul Schrader's film The Walker (2007), costarring Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Lauren Bacall. Tomlin then played a sensitivity-training expert with Steve Martin as Inspector Clousseau in Pink Panther II (2009).
Tomlin's most recent movie, Admission, also stars Tina Fey and Paul Rudd and is set for release in 2013.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, call (310) 506-4522 or visit the Center for the Arts Web site.