Lily Tomlin made a big mark in Hollywood. She’s being recognized for it in an awesome way.

At 76 years old, Lily Tomlin has proven herself to be an acting and comedic badass who's been making audiences laugh — and cry — for decades.

She can play a clever, street-wise, independent woman as easily as she can play a vulnerable ex-wife who's just had her life turned upside down.


Image by Jerod Harris/Getty Images.

The comedy icon has been bestowed with a lot of awards throughout the years, but now she's adding one more. It's a pretty big one: The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is giving her the Lifetime Achievement Award in January 2017.

Here are eight reasons why Lily Tomlin totally deserves this latest recognition:

1. Her first film role earned her two award nominations, and she's been winning awards and nominations ever since.

Tomlin was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1975 for her performance as the mom of two deaf children who has an affair — Robert Altman's "Nashville."

GIF from "Nashville."

The year prior, she had won her first Emmy for her comedy special simply titled "Lily." She would later go on to win two Tonys, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a Kennedy Center Honor, and two Peabody Awards, among many others.

One of her latest accolades is a 2015 Golden Globe nomination for the titular character in "Grandma."

2. She refuses to let ageism in Hollywood get in her way.

Any comedian will tell you it's not always easy making people laugh. Female comedians will probably tell you it's even harder. And if you're an older female comedian? Sometimes it's like Hollywood doesn't even know what to do with you.

But Lily Tomlin is just that good. She's managed to keep us laughing and tuning in to her career for almost 50 years, no matter what Hollywood producers say about women.

Lily Tomlin in 1981 at the premiere of "Nine to Five." Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images.

3. She's not afraid to play strong female characters, even if they might make us feel uncomfortable.

From her antics as a cold-as-a-cucumber secretary in 1980's "Nine to Five" to her latest bad-grandma role in the 2015 movie "Grandma," she's OK playing an unlikable character, as long as the story is worth telling.

GIF from "Grandma."

4. She cares about the work she does. To her, it's not just about being famous.

Lily has carved an impressive career out of bringing all types of characters to life. While they're not all necessarily likable, she has a way of making them feel human, like they're real people. From her nosy and all-too-familiar character Ernestine to playing hilariously outspoken 5-year-old Edith Ann (complete with the oversized outfit), she always makes each role memorable.

Lily Tomlin playing Edith Ann on "The Lilly Tomlin Show." Photo by ABC Television/Wikimedia Commons.

5. She's multitalented beyond her acting abilities, with many writing and producing credits to her name.

Since winning her first Emmy in 1974, she has starred in five more comedy specials she wrote and produced alongside her wife and longtime producing partner, Jane Wagner.

It's one thing to have the presence and charisma to hold an audience, but it's entirely another to have the talent and wit to write and produce the show as well. Lily and Jane seem to have found a winning formula and stuck to it — on and off the stage.

Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin in 2001. Photo by Henry Ray Abrams/Getty Images.

6. She's an incredibly generous humanitarian who cares deeply about the LGBTQ community and animal rights.

Lily is known for her big heart. She works extensively to support the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Lily herself is a proud member of the LGBTQ community, although she says she never felt the need to hold a press conference to either confirm or deny her sexual orientation. She and Jane have been together since 1971 and got married in 2013.

She also lends her time to animal causes, like this ad she did for PETA in April 2016 in which she reprised the role of Ernestine, one of her classic comedy characters.

Image via PETA/YouTube.

7. She says what's on her mind, especially when she sees injustice in the world.

In an interview with The Wrap, Tomlin told the story of a fancy dinner she attended where she was seated next to a wealthy architect. She was so frustrated by him that at one point she turned to him and asked: "Don’t you think we should try just a little bit harder to make the world a little bit better for just a few more people?”

Disappointingly, his answer was a simple "No."

Same. Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images.

8. She was the voice of Ms. Frizzle on "The Magic School Bus."

'Nuff said.

GIF from "The Magic School Bus."

Women as multifaceted as Lily Tomlin are a rare breed in Hollywood, and they should be celebrated more.

"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," SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said.

Cheers to SAG and to Tomlin for this awesome recognition of a woman who has managed to dance to the beat of her own drum while carving out a meaningful and impressive career along the way.

Most Shared
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular