This lady is the true definition of ‘age is just a number’, as she recently earned herself a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy, for her hilariously comic series, ‘Grace and Frankie’, in which she is seen to be playing Frankie Bergstein. Born on September 1, 1939, Mary Jean Tomlin’s mother was, Lillie Mae and father’s was Guy Tomlin. They resided in Detroit, Michigan. Graduating from Cass Technical High School in 1957, she was a decent student. She proceeded to join Wayne State University, majoring in Biology. Initially, she was never fascinated by anything related to acting or whatsoever till she decided to try out for a play, which not only provoked her to change her subjects in the University, but also paved the way for performing opportunities to come. After college, in Detroit, she began doing standup comedy at local comedy clubs. After that, she started studying how to act at the HB studio in New York City. Finally, she ended up making her debut television appearance on a show called, ‘The Merv Griffen Show’, in the year 1965.
Her next venture was NBC’S sketch comedy show, which was called, ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in’. Her constant improvisations and amazing comic timing helped her become the instant favorite amongst the masses. In fact, she became so eminent that she started to play those characters outside the show. By representing Tommy Velour and Rick, she became one of the few female actors who broke out male drag. However, her most remembered and enjoyed character of all time was Edith Ann and Earnestine. Edith Ann was so famous that later, Tomlin published the autobiography of Edith, co-written by Jane Wagner. Two commercials were also made by her, which showed an updated Earnestine.
Her comedy album, “This is a Recording”, was her first album and was released on Polydor Records, which included Earnestine’s run on, over the phone, with her customers. The Billboard placed it as number 15 on its charts, and earned her the Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Till 1977, she was consecutively making comedy albums and was repeatedly nominated as well. She made her debut with “Nashville”, an acclaimed drama by Robert Altman, which garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The Late Show in which she teamed up with Art Carney was a critical success. But the movie that she made her the artist she is today was non-other than Colin Higgins directed, “9 to 5”. The story was about three female secretaries who decide to take their revenge from their tyrannical bosses. Her role as Violet Newstead made her a household name. She also did her fair share of Broadway, from which the top rated was ‘The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”, which was co-written by her partner, Jane Wagner. This show won her the Tony award. Currently, she is back on the small screen starring opposite
Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston in the Netflix series, Grace and Frankie.