53rd Annual Accolade to Be Presented During the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Simulcast Live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017
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 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, Jan. 29, 2017 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT), and 5 p.m. (PT).
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.”
It was Laugh-In – which TV Guide magazine named one of “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time” – that introduced mainstream America to Tomlin characters like the overbearing (and snorting) switchboard operator Ernestine, the philosophical five-and-a-half-year-old Edith Ann and the ultimate very tasteful suburban socialite Mrs. Audrey Earbore III.
Since then, under the Tomlin-Wagner banner with her long-time partner, writer and producer, Jane Wagner, Tomlin has starred in six comedy specials, three of which earned four Emmys. Tomlin and Wagner also produced three animated specials based on Edith Ann, voiced by Tomlin, including the Peabody Award-winning Edith Ann’s Christmas (Just Say Noël).
Tomlin’s talents span many roles and genres, from Ms. Frizzle in the animated The Magic Schoolbus, Candice Bergen’s boss on Murphy Brown and Lisa Kudrow’s narcissistic mother on Web Therapy, the compelling drama of the president’s executive assistant on The West Wing (a role which earned her an individual 2003 SAG Award nomination) and her Emmy-nominated performance as the wife of a disgraced financier in Damages. She also is continuously in demand for guest-starring appearances.
Tomlin can currently be seen starring opposite fellow executive producer Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie, in which two mismatched women become friends as they reinvent themselves after their husbands decide to marry each other. The Netflix original series has been renewed for a third season and has earned Tomlin Emmy nominations this year and last for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.