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Lily Tomlin footprints to be cemented at TCL Chinese Theatre

Update: This event is cancelled due to COVID-19.

Lily Tomlin will have her hand and footprints memorialized in cement at Hollywood’s world famous TCL Chinese Theatre during the 11th annual TCM Classic Film Festival.

Tomlin’s entertainment career spans more than five decades, starting in the 1960s with stand-up comedy and moving onto TV, feature films, and theater. Her most recent work is on the Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie” opposite Jane Fonda.

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During her amazing career, Tomlin has garnered eight Emmys, two Peabody Awards, a Tony, and a Grammy. 

The actress-comedienne-LGBTQ activist will be honored at the TCM Classic Film Festival April 17, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced earlier this month. The event is free and open to the public.

In a press release, Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, said “the humanity (Tomlin) finds in the women she plays has enabled her to transition, seemingly with ease, from groundbreaking work on ‘Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In’ to four Emmy nominations for ‘Grace and Frankie.’

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“There’s a consistent richness to her work, in comedy and drama, as well as on stage in her innovative one-woman show, ‘The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,’ and on the big screen. Mankiewicz listed many of Tomlin’s films, including “The Late Show,” “9 to 5,” “Nashville,” “All of Me,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “I Heart Huckabees,” or “A Prairie Home Companion,” and then said, “You know all of those pictures were made more memorable because Lily Tomlin was among the cast.”

Lily Tomlin Grace and Frankie

Lily Tomlin, covered in Post-It notes, plays Frances “Frankie” Bergstein in the Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie.” Photo: Netflix.

Tomlin has also been awarded by the Kennedy Center Honors, a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in California, and the Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Tomlin, 80, has been married to writer and producer Jane Wagner, 84, since 2013 – but they have been a couple approximately 50 years.

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Wagner, Tomlin’s frequent collaborator, wrote “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” “The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” and other Tomlin vehicles.

When Tomlin and Wagner are not working, they are avid activists for LGBTQ rights, animal welfare, and the environment. They are both benefactors of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

In December, Tomlin was arrested at Fonda’s weekly “Fire Drill Fridays” climate change protest in Washington, D.C.

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This year’s TCM hand and footprints ceremony follows previous events that honored Peter O’Toole (2011), Kim Novak (2012), Jane Fonda (2013), Jerry Lewis (2014), Christopher Plummer (2015),  Francis Ford Coppola (2016), Carl and Rob Reiner (2017), Cicely Tyson (2018), and Billy Crystal (2019).

The TCM ceremony is not the same event that has preserved approximately 200 celebrity hand and footprints and autographs within the movie palace’s forecourt, which started April 30, 1927, with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and Mary Pickford. The ones placed in the forecourt are selected by a special committee.

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About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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