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Jennifer Tilly (1958)

Jennifer E. Chan

Type :  

  Summary  

Jennifer Tilly is a Canadian-American 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.

  Biography  

 early life
Tilly was born Jennifer Elizabeth Chan in Harbor City, Los Angeles. She is the second child of Harry Chan, a used car salesman, and Patricia (née Tilly), a Canadian schoolteacher and former stage actress. Her father was Chinese American and her mother was of Irish, Native-American and Finnish ancestry. 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. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from Stephens College in Missouri.

 career
 Acting
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 the cult classic horse racing movie, Let it Ride with Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr, that Tilly later said "should have done better."

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 . 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. 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 voices Madame Leota. 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. Landock.

 Poker career


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. 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 failed to improve against Ida's starting hand of . Tilly appears as a celebrity, rather than a poker pro, in ESPN's Pro-Am Poker Equalizer. Tilly also appears in the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions 2007 Edition video game that was released in 2007 by Activision.

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

Since January 2010, she appears to have resumed her poker career. As of 2010, Tilly's live tournament winnings exceed $660,000.

 personal life
From 1984 until 1991, Tilly was married to Sam Simon, developer and producer of The Simpsons.

Jennifer Tilly has an older brother, Steve, and two younger sisters, Meg and Rebecca.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jennifer Tilly", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.