Edit
Jennifer Tilly Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (4)

Born in Harbor City, California, USA
Birth NameJennifer Ellen Chan
Nicknames The Unabombshell
Jenny
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An actress who always attracts audiences' attention, Jennifer Tilly is by turns funny, sexy, compassionate, compelling and often all at once. She burst onto the scene playing the tone deaf Monica Moran in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), opposite brothers Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges. She has been playing unforgettable characters ever since. She earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the hopelessly untalented Olive Neal in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway (1994). She followed that up with a memorable turn as Jim Carrey's gold-digging client in the blockbuster Liar Liar (1997). A sultry performance as Violet, opposite Gina Gershon, helped make Lana Wachowski's and Lilly Wachowski's Bound (1996) a breakout indie success at the Sundance Film Festival and then in theatres. It also expanded Jennifer's already significant gay and lesbian following.

Jennifer Tilly was born Jennifer Ellen Chan in Harbor City, Los Angeles, to Harry Chan, a used car salesman, who was of Chinese origin, and Patricia (née Tilly), a schoolteacher and stage actress. Her sister is actress Meg Tilly. They were raised on rural Texada Island, British Columbia, by her mother and stepfather, John Ward.

Over the years, Jennifer has worked with some of the world's best directors, including Terry Gilliam (Tideland (2005)), Neil Jordan (High Spirits (1988)), Joe Pytka (Let It Ride (1989)), Roger Donaldson (The Getaway (1994)), Ronny Yu (Bride of Chucky (1998)), Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway (1994)), Jerry Shatzberg (No Small Affair (1984)), Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little (1999) and The Haunted Mansion (2003)), Peter Bogdanovich (The Cat's Meow (2001)), in which she played Louella Parsons, Richard Benjamin (Made in America (1993)), Alphonso Arau (The Magnificent Ambersons (2002)), Oliver Stone (The Doors (1991)), Albert Brooks (The Muse (1999)) and Michael Radford (Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)). Other films include: Saint Ralph (2004), Music from Another Room (1998), Shadow of the Wolf (1992), Bart Got a Room (2008), An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong (2009), P.J. Castellaneta's Relax... It's Just Sex (1998), The Wrong Guy (1997), Second Best (2004), Sister Mary Explains It All (2001), Bella Mafia (1997), Edie & Pen (1996), The Crew (2000), and many more. Jennifer has appeared on some of television's best series, including Cheers (1982), Remington Steele (1982), Moonlighting (1985), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) and Frasier (1993). She was a recurring character on Hill Street Blues (1981), It's Garry Shandling's Show. (1986) and Out of Practice (2005), and a series regular on NBC's Shaping Up (1984) and Fox's Key West (1993). She is also in great demand as a voice-over artist. Her vocal characterizations include the snaky-haired Celia in Pixel's Monsters, Inc. (2001), the new age cow Grace in Disney's Home on the Range (2004), and the perpetually pregnant Bonnie Swanson on Family Guy (1999). Equally at home on stage as well as film, she has many theatre credits under her belt. She received a Theatre World Award for her performance in Second Stage's "One Shoe Off" performed at the Joseph Papp.

Jennifer successfully cultivated another fan base with the revitalization of the "Child's Play" horror comedy franchise. For Ronny Yu's Bride of Chucky (1998), the filmmakers turned to Jennifer to create the character who would spark the series in a new direction. She met the challenge and established a new horror icon in Tiffany. In Rogue Pictures' Seed of Chucky (2004), written and directed by series creator Don Mancini, Jennifer again took the popular series to the next level; starring as Tiffany and as herself, the deadly doll's favorite actress, who soon becomes an unwitting hostess in more ways than one.

Jennifer's pitch-perfect voiceover work as Tiffany is not the only instance of her being able to incarnate a character from the vocal chords out. Families know her distinctive cadences from the Disney hits Home on the Range (2004), directed by Will Finn and John Sanford; The Haunted Mansion (2003) (in which Jennifer acted from the neck up only), directed by Rob Minkoff; and the Pixar blockbuster Monsters, Inc. (2001) (voicing Mike's love interest Celia), directed by Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich. She began her acting career as a teenager, putting herself through the theater program at Stephens College in Missouri by winning writing competitions. She then headed to Los Angeles, California. While she continued to act on the stage (earning a Dramalogue Award for her performance in "Vanities"), movies and television immediately came calling for the actress with the unique voice and visage.

In 2001, she starred in the Broadway revival of "The Women" with Cynthia Nixon and Kristen Johnson, which was later taped for, and broadcast on, PBS. In 2008, she appeared with Miranda Richardson in the critically acclaimed production of Wallace Shawn's play "Grasses of a Thousand Colors" at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Other plays include "Tartuffe" (LAAT) "Boy's Life" (LAAT) "Baby with the Bathwater" (LAPT) and others too numerous to mention. In 2005, Jennifer met her boyfriend, professional poker player Phil Laak (also known as the Unabomber). That summer at the World Series of Poker, she bested a field of 601 to take down the Ladies Event and win a coveted gold bracelet. She followed this up by winning the WPT Ladies Invitational, making her one of a small but elite group holding both a WSOP bracelet, and a WPT title. In summer 2010, she also won the Bellagio Cup 5k tournament.

She writes a monthly column for Bluff magazine, and is a regular on the tournament circuit. Jennifer is a familiar face on many poker television shows, including "Poker Superstars", "Poker After Dark", "The Big Game", "The World Poker Open", "The Poker Lounge" and NBC's "Heads Up", to name a few. She is number 25 on the Women's All Time Money list, with career earnings in excess of six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Upcoming films include 30 Beats (2012) with Justin Kirk and Paz de la Huerta, and The Secret Lives of Dorks (2013) starring opposite Jim Belushi. In December 2010, she received the Best Actress Award from the WIFT (Women in Film and Television) Foundation for her work in the Mary McGuckian films Intervention (2007) and Inconceivable (2008) slated for release in 2011.

In addition, she has been a favored guest on a number of talk shows, from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) to The Arsenio Hall Show (1989) to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992). Those interview segments have encouraged viewers to expect the unexpected from her interplay with the host and the studio audience.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Nicole Perez, publicist

Spouse (1)

Sam Simon (October 1984 - 1991) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Breathy, little girl voice
Cheerful onscreen persona
Voluptuous bombshell figure

Trivia (19)

Attended and graduated from Belmont High School in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Older sister of Meg Tilly and Rebecca Tilly, younger sister of Steve Tilly.
Received her Bachelor's degree in Theatre from Stephens College in Columbia, MO.
Has one cat named Corky.
She has won a Theater World Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her work in Tina Howe's play, "One Shoe Off", at The Joseph Papp Theater. She also received a Dramalogue Award for her work in the play "Vanities". She won a Gemini Award for Best Actress for her role in Showtime's made-for-TV film Heads (1994), and a nomination for a Cable ACE Award for her work on It's Garry Shandling's Show. (1986).
Is an avid lover of fashion and has 400 pairs of shoes.
Lenny von Dohlen, who co-starred with Jennifer in Bird of Prey (1995) and her sister Meg Tilly in Leaving Normal (1992), said, "They have a fountain of emotion that keeps coming, even after someone yells cut, but the fountain comes from different bodies of water." He adds, "Meg is an ocean, Jennifer is a rushing river.".
In high school, everyone called Jennifer, Meg, and their younger sister Becky the Three Musketeers.
Ranked #23 in Celebrity Sleuth magazine's 25 Sexiest Women of 1995.
She has played a ditzy, sexy love interest for Kelsey Grammer's character Frasier Crane when he was trying to get over other women on Cheers (1982) and again on Frasier (1993) (though she was not playing the same character).
Her father was of Chinese descent and her mother's ancestry was Irish, Finnish, and First Nations. Jennifer was raised mostly in British Columbia, Canada.
In 2005 she won the Ladies-Only No Limit Texas Hold 'Em event at the World Series of Poker, becoming the first celebrity to win an open (as opposed to celebrity-only) WSOP tournament and earn a World Series bracelet. She beat out exactly 600 other women to take the championship.
Initially involved in Los Angeles Equity waiver theater, she was a one-time member for several years with Lonny Chapman's Group Repertory Theatre.
Followed up her World Series of Poker win with a victory in the World Poker Tour (2003) Ladies Night, to be broadcast during the fourth season of WPT.
Her real-life boyfriend is professional poker player Phil Laak (aka "The Unabomber"). They met at a charitable invitational poker tournament.
Ex-sister-in-law of John Calley and Tim Zinnemann. Sister-in-law of Don Calame.
Her younger sister, Rebecca Tilly, is a post-impressionist painter.
Wore the exact same wig in Bullets Over Broadway (1994) and Return to Babylon (2013).
As of 2018, has never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Personal Quotes (13)

Everyone said that if you want to be a real actor, go to New York. If you want to sell out, go to L.A. And I thought, "I want to sell out!"
A way you can get really good abs in film is you get your makeup artist to paint shadows -- faux washboard. But if you see me in a movie and I have great abs, it means I have a great body double.
Spending time with Jim on a stage is an incredibly weird experience! I found myself unable to act seriously! Hard to shoot with the master of comedy!
I still haven't made a film that defines who I am.
If I was like some of the characters I played, I'd probably be dead by now.
I was the most popular person in my family. I was like a celebrity. All my sisters would fight over who got to sleep with me. I was always thinking up all the games, telling all the stories, and had the best clothes. I was the entertainment. We didn't have television and we didn't have movies, and I was always the boss. I'd write these plays and I'd make everybody be in them. Once, I had this idea that we'd put all the beds on top of one another so there would be only one bed, but it would be a really big, tall bed. Then we'd take turns sleeping on that bed while everybody else slept on the floor. Like for a month. Everyone thought that was a great idea. I don't know why. I guess because we grew up way, way out in the country and we never had any neighbors.
[on her curves and her frequent cleavage baring characters] People are always accusing me of having implants.
[on Seed of Chucky (2004)] It's really gruesome, but it's a heartwarming story.
[on Madonna]: We went to a club once. The doorman opened the rope for me but closed it on Madonna - he didn't recognize her. She wouldn't have gotten in, but I put in a good word for her. (In Style magazine, September 2006)
[on her new poker career while on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992)] Everyone had a nickname. Mine couldn't be Jennifer "the boob" Tilly!
That Hollywood thing, where everybody hugs and kisses everybody else--I always stiffen. It's an assumed familiarity. It's phony.
[in 1996] Meg and I didn't have any connections in Hollywood. I think it's amazing that two girls who grew up really poor in rural Canada came to Hollywood and have successful careers and get nominated for Oscars out of nowhere--out of an idea I had. The thing is, we're tremendously aggressive; we say, "This is what I want, why can't that be me?". I just knew I had to be an actress. I had some vision--this was when I was seven or eight--of myself at 40, a housewife with curlers in her hair, watching TV and crying because I had never followed my dream of being an actress. I always remember having that vision.
[in 1996] The first time I met Quentin Tarantino was so funny. He said, "Jennifer, there's something I've always wanted to ask you." And I'm thinking, "Which of my distinguished movies is he going to ask about?". He goes, "Moving Violations (1985)! How did you do that scene in the anti-gravity chamber?". I thought he was making fun of me, but then I realized he was serious. My friend who was with me said, "How come I've never heard you mention 'Moving Violations'?". So I brushed it off and said, "Well, it was like my first movie." Quentin went, "No, no, no, the first movie you ever did was No Small Affair (1984), with Jon Cryer and Demi Moore." And I'm thinking, "If you weren't Quentin Tarantino, I'd think you were a stalker".

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed