Jennifer Tilly

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Jennifer Tilly

Jennifer Tilly, 2006
BornJennifer Elizabeth Chan
(1958-09-16) September 16, 1958 (age 54)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1983–present
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Spouse(s)Sam Simon (m. 1984–1991) «start: (1984)–end+1: (1992)»"Marriage: Sam Simon to Jennifer Tilly" Location: (linkback://
Partner(s)Phil Laak (2005–present)
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Jennifer Tilly

Jennifer Tilly, 2006
BornJennifer Elizabeth Chan
(1958-09-16) September 16, 1958 (age 54)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1983–present
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Spouse(s)Sam Simon (m. 1984–1991) «start: (1984)–end+1: (1992)»"Marriage: Sam Simon to Jennifer Tilly" Location: (linkback://
Partner(s)Phil Laak (2005–present)

Jennifer Tilly (born September 16, 1958)[1] is an American-born Canadian actress and poker player. She is an Academy Award nominee, and a World Series of Poker Ladies' Event bracelet winner. She is the older sister of actress Meg Tilly.


Early life

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.[2] Her father was Chinese American and her mother was of Irish, Finnish, and Native-American ancestry.[3][4][5][6] Following her parents' divorce when she was five, she 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.[7][8] She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from Stephens College in Missouri.[9]



Tilly had small roles in TV shows and movies beginning in 1983. She 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. 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. Later the same year, she played a small part in Let it Ride with Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr.

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 (1994). In 1994, she also had a small role in The Getaway with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.

Tilly starred in Bound, which portrays a lesbian relationship her character has with Gina Gershon. She played Samantha Cole in the 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.

Tilly gained some additional popularity in recent years for providing voice-over work as killer doll Tiffany for two of the Child's Play series. In the most recent installment, Seed of Chucky, she plays a dual role, providing the voice for Tiffany and also playing an exaggerated version of herself.

She is a semi-regular cast member on Family Guy, voicing the Griffin family's neighbor, Bonnie Swanson, Joe Swanson's wife who was pregnant for most of the show's run until she finally had her baby during Family Guy's current post-2005 cancellation era. She has also done vocal 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.


Jennifer Tilly

Tilly right 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
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es)9
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
World Poker Tour
Final table(s)None
Money finish(es)4
Information accurate as of 11 July 2012.

On June 27, 2005, Tilly won a World Series of Poker bracelet (and $158,625) in the Ladies' No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em event, outlasting 600 other players. She followed up this accomplishment on September 1, 2005, by also 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.[10] She appeared in the third season of Poker Superstars but was eliminated in the preliminary round. Tilly played in the Celebrity Poker Showdown which aired June 14, 2006, on Bravo. Tilly was knocked out in third place by Bravo's online poker champion Ida Siconolfi when her A K failed to improve against Ida's starting hand of K K. Tilly appears as a celebrity, rather than a poker pro, in ESPN's Pro-Am Poker Equalizer. She often wears low-cut tops with push-up bras to expose lots of cleavage while playing poker. This is meant as a distraction to less serious players, saying, "the thing is, 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."[11] 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.[citation needed]

In a television interview in 2005, Tilly stated that at that point in her career she was more interested in pursuing poker than acting.[12] 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."[13]

Since January 2010, she appears to have resumed her poker career.[14]

As of July 2012, Tilly's live tournament winnings exceed $590,000.[15]

Personal life

From 1984 until 1991, Tilly was married to Sam Simon, developer and producer of The Simpsons.[16]

Jennifer Tilly has an older brother, Steve, and two younger sisters, Meg and Rebecca.[citation needed]


1984No Small AffairMona
1985Moving ViolationsAmy Hopkins
1987Inside OutAmy
1987He's My GirlLisa
1988Johnny Be GoodConnie Hisler
1988Remote ControlAllegra James
1988Rented LipsMona Lisa
1988High SpiritsMiranda
1989Far From HomeAmy
1989Let It RideVicki
1989Fabulous Baker Boys, TheThe Fabulous Baker BoysMonica Moran
1991Doors, TheThe DoorsOkie GirlUncredited
1992Shadow of the WolfIgiyook
1993Made in AmericaStacy
1994Double CrossMelissa
1994Bullets Over BroadwayOlive Neal
1994Embrace of the VampireMarika
1994Getaway, TheThe GetawayFran Carvey
1995Bird of PreyKily Griffith
1995Man with a GunRena Rushton/Kathy Payne
1996Pompatus of Love, TheThe Pompatus of LoveTarzaan
1996House ArrestCindy Figler
1996American StraysPatty Mae
1997Liar LiarSamantha Cole
1997Edie & PenEdie Piper
1997Wrong Guy, TheThe Wrong GuyLynn Holden
1998Relax...It's Just SexTara Ricotto
1998HoodsMary Crippa
1998Bride of ChuckyTiffany
1998Music From Another RoomNina
1999Muse, TheThe MuseHerself
1999Do Not DisturbCathryn
1999Bartok the MagnificentPiloffVoice only
1999Stuart LittleMrs. Camille StoutVoice only
1999Play It to the BoneRingside Fan
2000Dancing at the Blue IguanaJo
2000Crew, TheThe CrewFerris 'aka Maureen' Lowenstein
2001Fast SofaGinger Quail
2001Monsters, Inc.Celia MaeVoice only
2001Ball in the HouseDot
2001Cat's Meow, TheThe Cat's MeowLouella Parsons
2003Hollywood NorthGillian Stevens
2003Haunted Mansion, TheThe Haunted MansionMadame Leota
2003Happy EndEdna
2003Jericho MansionsDonna Cherry
2004Second BestCarole
2004Perfect OppositesElyse Steinberg
2004Home on the RangeGraceVoice only
2004El PadrinoSebeva
2004Saint RalphNurse Alice
2004Love on the SideAlma Kerns
2004Seed of ChuckyTiffany/Herself
2005Bailey's Billion$Dolores Pennington
2005Lil' PimpMiss De La CroixVoice only
2005Civilization of Maxwell Bright, TheThe Civilization of Maxwell BrightDr. O'Shannon
2005TidelandQueen Gunhilda
2006Poker Movie, TheThe Poker MovieHerself
2008DealKaren 'Razor' Jones
2008Caretaker, TheThe CaretakerMiss Perry
2008Bart Got a RoomMelinda
2008InconceivableSalome 'Sally' Marsh
2009An American Girl: Chrissa Stands StrongMrs. Rundell
2009Made in RomaniaHerself
2009Empire of SilverMrs. Landdeck
2010Making of Plus One, TheThe Making of Plus OneAmber
2010Secret Lives of Dorks, TheThe Secret Lives of DorksMs. Stewart
201030 BeatsErika
2011Return to BabylonClara Bow
2013Monsters UniversityCelia MaeVoice only
1986CheersCandi PearsonEpisode: "Second Time Around"
1989MoonlightingNurse SaundraEpisode: "Plastic Fantastic Lovers"
1993Webbers, TheThe WebbersMiranda WebberTV film
1993Key WestSavannah Sumner/Savannah Sumners13 episodes
1993HeadsTina AbbotTV film
1997Bella MafiaMoyra LucianoTV film
2000Hey ArnoldLola
  • Episode: "Suspended/Ernie in Love"
  • Voice only
1999–presentFamily GuyBonnie SwansonVoice only
2001Kid, TheThe KidWaitress
  • TV film
  • Voice only
2001Sister Mary Explains It AllPhilomena RostovichTV film
2002Magnificent Ambersons, TheThe Magnificent AmbersonsFanny MinaferTV film
2004FrasierKimEpisode: "Miss Right Now"
2005–2006Out of PracticeCrystal14 episodes
2006Initiation of Sarah, TheThe Initiation of SarahDr. Eugenia HunterTV film
2010CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationTerpsie PrattEpisode: "Take My Life, Please!"
2011Drop Dead DivaGinnyEpisode: "Dream Big"
2011Modern FamilyDarleneEpisode: "Treehouse"
2012RuPaul's Drag RaceHerself - Guest JudgeEpisode "Frenemies"

Awards and nominations

Acting awards

Poker awards


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Jennifer Tilly biography at
  3. ^ "Meg Tilly is Asian Irish" March 2011, Asiance magazine
  4. ^ "Jennifer Tilly – Poker Pro Bio, Pictures and Poker Videos". Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jennifer Tilly: Little voice, big talent". The Independent (London). November 19, 2004. 
  6. ^ "Official Meg Tilly Website". Retrieved February 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Jennifer Tilly Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  8. ^ "Jennifer Tilly". Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  9. ^ Jennifer Tilly on YouTube[dead link]
  10. ^ "GSN's Celebrity Poker Tournaments on TV: "Poker Royale" June 14, 2005, Poker
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Jennifer Tilly's Pro-Am Poker Equalizer Player Profile". Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Jennifer Tilly final monthly column in Bluff Magazine". Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Jennifer Tilly resumes monthly column in Bluff Magazine". Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Meet Sam Simon, The Dog Nut" July 16, 2007, CBS News

External links