|Some or all of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. (January 2012)|
Tilly in 2006
|Born||Jennifer Ellen Chan
September 16, 1958
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Stephens College (B.A.)|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Sam Simon (m. 1984–91)|
|Partner(s)||Phil Laak (2005–present)|
Jennifer Tilly (born Jennifer Ellen Chan; September 16, 1958) is a Canadian-American actress and poker player. She is an Academy Award nominee, and a World Series of Poker Ladies' Event bracelet winner. She has a brother Steve and two sisters, Meg Tilly and Rebecca. She also has two half brothers, Aaron and Ben. She is best known for playing Celia in Monsters Inc. and Bonnie Swanson in Family Guy.
Tilly was born Jennifer E. Chan in Harbor City, Los Angeles. She is the first child of Harry Chan, a used car salesman, and Patricia (née Tilly), a Canadian schoolteacher and former stage actress. Her father was of Chinese descent and her mother was of Irish, First Nations and Finnish ancestry. She has an older brother, Steve, and two younger sisters, Meg and Rebecca.
Following her parents' divorce when she was five, Tilly was raised by her mother and stepfather, John Ward, on rural Texada Island, British Columbia. Her mother divorced again when Tilly was 16, and moved to Victoria, where Tilly attended Belmont High School.
In 1983, Tilly had small roles and had a recurring guest role on Hill Street Blues as Gina Srignoli, a mobster's widow who becomes romantically involved with detective Henry Goldblume. She played Frasier Crane's seductive-but-ditzy date on an episode of the fourth season of Cheers and appeared as a similar character on the eleventh season of Frasier.
She appeared as Garry's girlfriend on It's Garry Shandling's Show, which aired on Showtime. She was also cast as a high end prostitute in the short lived comedy Key West, alongside Fisher Stevens. In 1989 she had a prominent role in the comedy, "Let It Ride", starring Richard Dreyfuss. Tilly's breakthrough film role was as a singing waitress in The Fabulous Baker Boys in a part that was specially written for her by Steve Kloves. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a hopelessly bad actress in Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway but she lost to her co-star Dianne Wiest. In 1994, she also had a small role in The Getaway with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
Tilly starred in 1996's Bound, directed by The Wachowskis, which portrays a lesbian relationship her character has with Gina Gershon. She played Samantha Cole in the 1997 Jim Carrey hit Liar Liar. In 2000's Dancing at the Blue Iguana, she played a stripper and part-time dominatrix. She portrayed gossip columnist Louella Parsons in the 2001 Peter Bogdanovich film The Cat's Meow. She gained some additional popularity in recent years for her portrayal of serial killer Tiffany Ray for three of the six Child's Play films. The character was first introduced in the fourth installment of the franchise, Bride of Chucky and subsequently appeared in Seed of Chucky and the most recent film, Curse of Chucky. In Seed, however, she plays a dual role providing the voice for Tiffany and also playing an exaggerated version of herself.
In 2001, she starred as Crystal Allen in the Broadway revival of The Women.
She is a semi-regular cast member on Family Guy, voicing the Griffin family's neighbor, Bonnie Swanson. She has also done voice-over work for the films Monsters, Inc., Stuart Little and Home on the Range, as well as the children's series Hey Arnold. In Disney's The Haunted Mansion, she portrays Madame Leota (a head in a crystal ball). She has been active in the theatre, winning a Theater World Award for her performance in the off-Broadway play One Shoe Off.
She had a starring role in the series Out of Practice, which starred Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing. The series was cancelled in May 2006. About this time, Tilly started dividing her time between her film career and professional poker. By the end of 2008, she returned to her film and television career. In 2009, Tilly made her Chinese film debut in the Christina Yao-directed Empire of Silver playing Mrs. Landdeck.
In 2012, she returned to Broadway in Don't Dress for Dinner, garnering an Audience Choice Award nomination for her portrayal of mistress Suzanne. In 2013 she starred in the Wallace Shawn/Andre Gregory collaboration Grasses of a Thousand Colors which premiered at the Royal Court theatre in London in 2009 and then moved to the Joseph Papp theatre in 2013. She regularly appears in the comedy revue Celebrity Autobiography
Tilly after her win at the 2005 World Series of Poker $1,000 Ladies Only Event – No Limit Hold'em.
|Nickname(s)||The Unabombshell, J Tilla the Killa|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
On June 27, 2005, Tilly won a World Series of Poker bracelet (and $158,625) in the Ladies' No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em event, beating 600 other players. She followed up this accomplishment on September 1, 2005, by winning the third World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament held at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Tilly has appeared in the GSN Poker Royale series. Tilly played in the Celebrity Poker Showdown which aired June 14, 2006, on Bravo. She was knocked out in third place by Bravo's online poker champion Ida Siconolfi.
If she's playing poker on TV, she often wears low-cut tops with push-up bras that expose lots of cleavage to "look cute", but is quick to add that "if people are really playing poker, they don't care. Nothing looks better to them than a pair of aces. They're not looking at your pair. They're looking at their pair." Tilly also appears in the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions 2007 Edition video game (along with boyfriend, Phil Laak) that was released in 2007 by Activision.
In a television interview in 2005, Tilly stated that at that point in her career she was more interested in pursuing poker than acting. By December 2008, Tilly announced her retirement from poker as a career. In her monthly column in Bluff Magazine she said: "I love poker but greatness in poker is an elusive dream. There are too many variants. Trying to find validation in poker is like trying to find a virgin in a whorehouse. I'm not giving up poker entirely – gambling is an addiction after all. I'm just going to treat it more like a hobby and less like a career."
|1984||No Small Affair||Mona||Film debut|
|1985||Moving Violations||Amy Hopkins|
|1987||He's My Girl||Lisa|
|1988||Johnny Be Good||Connie Hisler|
|1988||Remote Control||Allegra James|
|1988||Rented Lips||Mona Lisa|
|1989||Far from Home||Amy|
|1989||Let It Ride||Vicki|
|1989||Fabulous Baker Boys, TheThe Fabulous Baker Boys||Blanche "Monica" Moran|
|1991||Doors, TheThe Doors||Okie Girl||Uncredited|
|1992||Shadow of the Wolf||Igiyook|
|1993||Made in America||Stacy|
|1994||Bullets over Broadway||Olive Neal||Nominated for Academy Award|
|1994||Embrace of the Vampire||Marika|
|1994||Getaway, TheThe Getaway||Fran Carvey|
|1995||Bird of Prey||Kily Griffith|
|1995||Man with a Gun||Rena Rushton/Kathy Payne|
|1996||Pompatus of Love, TheThe Pompatus of Love||Tarzaan|
|1996||House Arrest||Cindy Figler|
|1996||American Strays||Patty Mae|
|1997||Liar Liar||Samantha Cole|
|1997||Edie & Pen||Edie Piper|
|1997||Bella Mafia||Moyra Luciano|
|1997||Wrong Guy, TheThe Wrong Guy||Lynn Holden|
|1998||Relax...It's Just Sex||Tara Ricotto|
|1998||Bride of Chucky||Tiffany|
|1998||Music From Another Room||Nina|
|1999||Muse, TheThe Muse||Herself|
|1999||Do Not Disturb||Cathryn|
|1999||Bartok the Magnificent||Piloff (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|1999||Stuart Little||Mrs. Camille Stout||Voice|
|1999||Play It to the Bone||Ringside Fan|
|2000||Dancing at the Blue Iguana||Jo|
|2000||Crew, TheThe Crew||Ferris 'aka Maureen' Lowenstein|
|2001||Fast Sofa||Ginger Quail|
|2001||Monsters, Inc.||Celia Mae||Voice|
|2001||Ball in the House||Dot|
|2001||Cat's Meow, TheThe Cat's Meow||Louella Parsons|
|2003||Hollywood North||Gillian Stevens|
|2003||Haunted Mansion, TheThe Haunted Mansion||Madame Leota|
|2003||Jericho Mansions||Donna Cherry|
|2004||Perfect Opposites||Elyse Steinberg|
|2004||Home on the Range||Grace||Voice|
|2004||Saint Ralph||Nurse Alice|
|2004||Love on the Side||Alma Kerns|
|2004||Seed of Chucky||Tiffany/Herself|
|2005||Bailey's Billion$||Dolores Pennington|
|2005||Lil' Pimp||Miss De La Croix||Voice|
|2005||Civilization of Maxwell Bright, TheThe Civilization of Maxwell Bright||Dr. O'Shannon|
|2006||Poker Movie, TheThe Poker Movie||Herself|
|2008||Deal||Karen 'Razor' Jones|
|2008||Caretaker, TheThe Caretaker||Miss Perry|
|2008||Bart Got a Room||Melinda|
|2008||Inconceivable||Salome 'Sally' Marsh|
|2009||An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong||Mrs. Rundell|
|2009||Made in Romania||Herself|
|2009||Empire of Silver||Mrs. Landdeck|
|2010||Making of Plus One, TheThe Making of Plus One||Amber|
|2013||Secret Lives of Dorks, TheThe Secret Lives of Dorks||Ms. Stewart|
|2013||Curse of Chucky||Tiffany Ray||Cameo, Direct-to-video|
|1983||Oh Madeline||Laurie||Episode: "Madeline Acts Forward at the Retreat"|
|1983||Boone||Sonia||Episode: "Words and Music"|
|1984||Shaping Up||Shannon Winters||4 episodes|
|1984–1985||Hill Street Blues||Gina Srignoli||6 episodes|
|1985||Remington Steele||Blitzen / Eva Wilson||Episode: "Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Steele"|
|1986||Cheers||Candi Pearson||Episode: "Second Time Around"|
|1989||Moonlighting||Nurse Saundra||Episode: "Plastic Fantastic Lovers"|
|1993||Webbers, TheThe Webbers||Miranda Webber||TV film|
|1993||Key West||Savannah Sumner/Savannah Sumners||13 episodes|
|1993||Heads||Tina Abbot||TV film|
|1997||Bella Mafia||Moyra Luciano||TV film|
|2000||Hey Arnold!||Lola (voice)||
|Family Guy||Bonnie Swanson (voice)|
|2001||Kid, TheThe Kid||Waitress (voice)||
|2001||Sister Mary Explains It All||Philomena Rostovich||TV film|
|2002||Magnificent Ambersons, TheThe Magnificent Ambersons||Fanny Minafer||TV film|
|2004||Frasier||Kim||Episode: "Miss Right Now"|
|2005–2006||Out of Practice||Crystal||14 episodes|
|2006||Initiation of Sarah, TheThe Initiation of Sarah||Dr. Eugenia Hunter||TV film|
|2009||The Cleveland Show||Bonnie Swanson (voice)|
|2010||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Terpsie Pratt||Episode: "Take My Life, Please!"|
|2011||Drop Dead Diva||Ginny||Episode: "Dream Big"|
|2011||Modern Family||Darlene||Episodes: "Treehouse", "Three Dinners"|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself - Guest Judge||Episode "Frenemies"|
|2012||The Simpsons||Herself (voice)||Episode "Gone Abie Gone"|
|2013-2014||Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||The sorceress(voice)||2 episodes|
Awards and nominations
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (July 2011)|
- Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Bullets over Broadway
- American Comedy Award nomination
- CableAce Award nomination Best Actress – It's Gary Schandling's Show
- Theater World Award, Most Promising Newcomer – One Shoe Off
- Dramalogue Award – Vaniti
- Gemini Award For Best Actress – Heads
- Fanta Festival Best Actress – Bride of Chucky
- Fantasporto International Fantasy Film Award Best Actress – Bound
- Golden Gate Award – GLAAD Media Award for media professionals who increase the understanding of the LGBT community
- Florida Film Festival Award Artistic Achievement Award
- DVD exclusive Award Best Actress (in a DVD Premiere Movie)
- Eyegore Award Eyegore
- Asheville Film Festival Career AChievement Award 2006
- San Diego Film Festival Award Achievement in Acting
- WIFTS Visionary Award 2010 Best Actress – Intervention, and Inconceivable.
- World Series of Poker Bracelet: In 2005, Tilly won the $1,000 Ladies' No Limit Hold'em; the prize was $158,335.
- CardPlayer Best Celebrity Player of the Year
- WPT Ladies Night Champion
- WPT Bellagio Cup 5K (124,455)
- "Jennifer Tilly @Jtillathekilla2". Twitter. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Some sources indicate 1961, but Tilly's listing on the California Birth Index 1905–1995 (as Jennifer E. Chan) gives her birth date as September 16, 1958.
- Jennifer Tilly biography at Theinsider.com
- "Meg Tilly is Asian Irish" March 2011, Asiance magazine
- BankrollBoost.com. "Jennifer Tilly – Poker Pro Bio, Pictures and Poker Videos". Bankrollboost.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Jennifer Tilly: Little voice, big talent". The Independent (London). November 19, 2004.
- "Official Meg Tilly Website". Officialmegtilly.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- Meg Tilly is Asian Irish Mar 2011, asiance magazine
- "Jennifer Tilly Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Jennifer Tilly". Nndb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Jennifer Tilly on YouTube[dead link]
- "Jennifer Tilly wins poker tournament". Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- "GSN's Celebrity Poker Tournaments on TV: "Poker Royale" June 14, 2005, Poker TV.com
- "Jennifer Tilly's Pro-Am Poker Equalizer Player Profile". Proampokerequalizer.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Jennifer Tilly final monthly column in Bluff Magazine". Bluffmagazine.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Jennifer Tilly resumes monthly column in Bluff Magazine". Bluffmagazine.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Meet Sam Simon, The Dog Nut". July 16, 2007, CBS News
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|Media from Commons|
- Jennifer Tilly at the Internet Movie Database
- Jennifer Tilly Bio at Tribute.ca
- Jennifer Tilly at the TCM Movie Database
- Jennifer Tilly at AllMovie