Lily Tomlin—an entertainment maverick whose talents put her at the pinnacle of comedy, acting, writing, and producing—has been named the 53rd recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Tomlin (who has graced OutSmart’s cover twice) will be presented the performers union’s most prestigious distinction at the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live nationwide on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 29, 2017, at 7 p.m. (CT).
The SAG Life Achievement Award will join Tomlin’s extraordinary collection of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes a 2014 Kennedy Center Award, the 2003 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, two Peabody Awards, multiple Emmys (including this year’s Lead Comedy Actress nomination), numerous American Comedy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Grammy, a Writers Guild of America Award, and both the Crystal Award and the Lucy Award from Women in Film. That Tomlin embodies the SAG Life Achievement Award’s “finest ideals of the acting profession” is amply celebrated by these and her numerous other professional and philanthropic commendations.
In making the announcement, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said, “Lily Tomlin is an extraordinary actress, as equally adept at narrative drama as in comedy roles. But it is through her many original characters that Lily’s creative genius fully shines. She has an ability to create diverse and distinct characters that are at once familiar, eccentric, and oh-so-honest—in a way that illuminates life’s hidden corners. From Edith Ann to Frankie, her characters are wholly unique, and by exposing every nuance of human behavior, they widen our scope of understanding. On behalf of nearly 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members, we are honored to bestow our SAG Life Achievement Award on the truly amazing Lily Tomlin.”
Tomlin has been a cherished star in the entertainment firmament since she joined the groundbreaking television series Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In in 1969, when it was rated the No. 1 show and watched by over 25 percent of all American television viewers. She and the colony of characters she created have continued to evolve, grow, deepen and adapt to this day, as Tomlin expresses her talents in nearly all forms of media.
Tomlin married her long-time partner, Jane Wagner, on the eve of 2014. They have been together for almost 45 years.
Read OutSmart’s previous interviews with Tomlin below: