Jennifer Tilly (born Jennifer Ellen Chan; September 16, 1958) is an American-Canadian actress and poker player. She is most recognised as Tiffany Valentine in the Child's Play franchise (1998–). Her first notable acting role was on the sitcom Shaping Up (1984), which she followed with her film debut in No Small Affair the same year. She is known for her distinctive voice and comedic timing. Tilly is a World Series of Poker Ladies' Event bracelet winner, the first celebrity to win a World Series tournament. She is the older sister of actress Meg Tilly.
Tilly in 2014
Jennifer Ellen Chan
September 16, 1958
|Alma mater||Stephens College|
|Occupation||Actress, poker player|
(m. 1984; div. 1991)
|Partner(s)||Phil Laak (2004–present)|
|Relatives||Meg Tilly (sister)|
Tilly came to prominence when she received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Olive Neal in Woody Allen's 1994 film Bullets over Broadway. She earned further acclaim, as well as Saturn Award and MTV Award nominations, for her performance in the Wachowskis' 1996 neo-noir thriller Bound. Her other film appearances include Let It Ride; The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989); Made in America (1993); The Getaway (1994); Edie & Pen; House Arrest (1996); Liar Liar (1997); Music from Another Room (1998); Stuart Little (1999); Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000); The Cat's Meow; Monsters, Inc. (2001); The Haunted Mansion (2003); Home on the Range (2004); and Terry Gilliam's Tideland (2005). She is recognised as an "icon" in the horror film community for her portrayal of Tiffany Valentine in the Child's Play franchise (1998–). She is also known for providing the voice of Bonnie Swanson on the animated television series Family Guy (1999–present).
Tilly was the recipient of a Theatre World Award in 1993 for her performance in the Off-Broadway play One Shoe Off. Her other stage credits include the Broadway revivals of The Women (2001) and Don't Dress for Dinner (2012).
Tilly was born Jennifer Ellen Chan in Harbor City, Los Angeles. She is the first daughter of Harry Chan, a used car salesman, and Patricia (née Tilly), a Canadian schoolteacher and former stage actress. Her father was of Chinese descent and her mother was of Irish and Finnish ancestry. She has an older brother, Steve, and two younger sisters, Meg and Rebecca.
Following her parents' divorce when she was five, Tilly 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.
In 1983, Tilly had small roles and 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 Candi Pearson 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 on the short-lived comedy Key West, alongside Fisher Stevens. In 1989, she had a prominent role in the comedy Let It Ride, starring Richard Dreyfuss. Tilly's breakthrough film role was as a singing waitress in The Fabulous Baker Boys in a role that was written specially for her by Steve Kloves. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Olive Neal, a hopelessly bad actress in Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway but she lost to her co-star Dianne Wiest. In 1994, she also had a small role in The Getaway with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
Tilly starred in Bound (1996), directed by The Wachowskis, which portrays a lesbian relationship her character has with Gina Gershon. She played Samantha Cole in the Jim Carrey comedy Liar Liar (1997). In Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000), she played a stripper and part-time dominatrix. She portrayed gossip columnist Louella Parsons in the Peter Bogdanovich historical drama The Cat's Meow (2001).
She gained additional popularity around that time for her portrayal of serial killer Tiffany Valentine in several of the Child's Play horror movie series. The character was first introduced in the fourth installment of the franchise, Bride of Chucky (1998), and subsequently appeared in Seed of Chucky (2004), Curse of Chucky (2013), and the most recent film, Cult of Chucky (2017). In Seed of Chucky, she plays a dual role, providing the voice for Tiffany and also playing an exaggerated version of herself. The performance earned her nominations for the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Actress and the MTV Movie Award for Best Scared-As-Shit Performance.
She is a semi-regular cast member on Family Guy, voicing the Griffin family's neighbor, Bonnie Swanson. She has also done voice-over 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 on the sitcom 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 film Empire of Silver playing Mrs. Landdeck.
In 2012, she returned to Broadway in Don't Dress for Dinner, garnering an Audience Choice Award nomination for her portrayal of mistress Suzanne. In 2013, she starred in the Wallace Shawn/Andre Gregory collaboration Grasses of a Thousand Colors which premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2009 and then moved to the Joseph Papp Theater in 2013. She regularly appeared in the comedy revue Celebrity Autobiography.
Tilly 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|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
On June 27, 2005, Tilly won a World Series of Poker bracelet (and $158,625) in the Ladies' No-Limit Texas hold 'em event, beating 600 other players. She followed up this accomplishment on September 1, 2005, by winning the third World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament held at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, a suburb of Los Angeles. Tilly has appeared in the GSN Poker Royale series. Tilly played in the Celebrity Poker Showdown which aired June 14, 2006, on Bravo. She was came in third place after being beaten by Bravo's online poker champion Ida Siconolfi. She also participated in the Poker After Dark show.
When playing poker on television, Tilly often wears low-cut tops with push-up bras that expose considerable cleavage in order to "look cute", but noted that "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." Tilly appears in the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions 2007 Edition video game, along with her boyfriend Phil Laak, which 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."
|1984||No Small Affair||Mona|
|1985||Moving Violations||Amy Hopkins|
|1987||He's My Girl||Lisa|
|1988||Remote Control||Allegra James|
|Johnny Be Good||Connie Hisler|
|Rented Lips||Mona Lisa|
|1989||Far from Home||Amy|
|Let It Ride||Vicki|
|The Fabulous Baker Boys||Blanche "Monica" Moran|
|1991||The Doors||Okie Girl||Uncredited|
|1992||Shadow of the Wolf||Igiyook|
|1993||Made in America||Stacy|
|1994||The Getaway||Fran Carvey|
|Bullets over Broadway||Olive Neal||Nominated for Academy Award|
|1995||Embrace of the Vampire||Marika|
|Bird of Prey||Kily Griffith|
|Man with a Gun||Rena Rushton / Kathy Payne|
|The Pompatus of Love||Tarzaan|
|1996||Edie & Pen||Edie Piper|
|American Strays||Patty Mae|
|House Arrest||Cindy Figler|
|1997||Liar Liar||Samantha Cole|
|The Wrong Guy||Lynn Holden|
|1998||Music from Another Room||Nina|
|Relax...It's Just Sex||Tara Ricotto|
|Bride of Chucky||Tiffany Valentine||Tilly also provided the voice of the Tiffany Doll|
|Bartok the Magnificent||Piloff (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|Do Not Disturb||Cathryn|
|Stuart Little||Camille Stout (voice)|
|Play It to the Bone||Ringside Fan|
|2000||Cord (also released as Hide and Seek)||Helen|
|The Crew||Ferris "aka Maureen" Lowenstein|
|Dancing at the Blue Iguana||Jo|
|Fast Sofa||Ginger Quail|
|The Cat's Meow||Louella Parsons|
|Ball in the House||Dot|
|Monsters, Inc.||Celia Mae (voice)|
|2003||Hollywood North||Gillian Stevens|
|Jericho Mansions||Donna Cherry|
|The Haunted Mansion||Madame Leota|
|Perfect Opposites||Elyse Steinberg|
|Home on the Range||Grace (voice)|
|Saint Ralph||Nurse Alice|
|Love on the Side||Alma Kerns|
|Seed of Chucky||Tiffany Valentine (voice) / Herself|
|2005||Lil' Pimp||Miss De La Croix (voice)|
|The Civilization of Maxwell Bright||Dr. O'Shannon|
|Bailey's Billion$||Dolores Pennington|
|2006||The Poker Movie||Herself|
|2008||Deal||Karen "Razor" Jones|
|The Caretaker||Miss Perry|
|Bart Got a Room||Melinda|
|Inconceivable||Salome "Sally" Marsh|
|2009||An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong||Mrs. Rundell|
Segment: "Sale on Professional Men"
|Empire of Silver||Mrs. Landdeck|
|Made in Romania||Herself|
|2010||The Making of Plus One||Amber|
|2013||Amelia's 25th||Miss Celie|
|Curse of Chucky||Tiffany||Cameo, Direct-to-video|
|Return to Babylon||Clara Bow|
|The Secret Lives of Dorks||Ms. Stewart|
|2016||A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits||Divine||Direct-to-video|
|2017||Cult of Chucky||Tiffany Valentine||Direct-to-video|
|Ray Meets Helen||Ginger|
|2019||Walk to Vegas||Jennifer|
|1983||Oh Madeline||Laurie||Episode: "Madeline Acts Forward at the Retreat"|
|1983||Boone||Sonia||Episode: "Words and Music"|
|1984||Shaping Up||Shannon Winters||4 episodes|
|1984–1985||Hill Street Blues||Gina Srignoli||6 episodes|
|1985||Remington Steele||Eva Wilson / Blitzen||Episode: "Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Steele"|
|1986||Stir Crazy||Karen||Episode: "Basic Straining"|
|1986||Cheers||Candi Pearson||Episode: "Second Time Around"|
|1987||It's Garry Shandling's Show||Angelica||Episodes: "It's Garry and Angelica's Show: Part 1 & 2"|
|1989||Moonlighting||Nurse Saundra||Episode: "Plastic Fantastic Lovers"|
|1992||Dream On||Ryan||Episode: "What Women Want"|
|1993||At Home with the Webbers||Miranda Webber||Television film|
|1993||Key West||Savannah Sumner||13 episodes|
|1994||Heads||Tina Abbot||Television film|
|1997||Gun||Phyllis||Episode: "All the President's Women"|
|1997||Bella Mafia||Moyra Luciano||Television film|
|1999–present||Family Guy||Bonnie Swanson (voice)||61 episodes|
|2000||Hey Arnold!||Lola (voice)||Episode: "Suspended/Ernie in Love"|
|2001||Sister Mary Explains It All||Philomena Rostovich||Television film|
|2001||The Kid||Waitress (voice)||Television film|
|2002||The Magnificent Ambersons||Fanny Minafer||Television film|
|2002||Stage on Screen: The Women||Crystal Allen||Television film|
|2004||Frasier||Kim||Episode: "Miss Right Now"|
|2005–2006||Out of Practice||Crystal||14 episodes|
|2006||The Initiation of Sarah||Dr. Eugenia Hunter||Television film|
|2009||The Cleveland Show||Bonnie Swanson (voice)||Pilot episode|
|2010||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Terpsie Pratt||Episode: "Take My Life, Please!"|
|2011||Drop Dead Diva||Ginny||Episode: "Dream Big"|
|2011–2014||Modern Family||Darlene||2 episodes|
|2012||RuPaul's Drag Race||Herself – Guest Judge||Episode: "Frenemies"|
|2012||The Simpsons||Herself (voice)||Episode: "Gone Abie Gone"|
|2013–2014||Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||Amanda Levay / The Sorcereress (voice)||2 episodes|
|2015||Spun Out||Maggie Felgate||Episode: "The Secret of My Ex-Wife's Success"|
|2020||Monsters at Work||Celia Mae (voice)|
Awards and nominations
|1989||CableACE Award||Best Actress in a Comedy Series||It's Garry Shandling's Show||Nominated|
|1994||Academy Award||Best Supporting Actress||Bullets over Broadway||Nominated|
|American Comedy Award||Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Awards Circuit Community Award||Best Cast Ensemble (shared with the cast)||Nominated|
|1995||Gemini Award||Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-series||Heads||Nominated|
|1996||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress||Bound||Nominated|
|Fantasporto Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|MTV Movie & TV Award||Best Kiss (shared with Gina Gershon)||Nominated|
|1997||Blockbuster Entertainment Award
|Favorite Supporting Actress - Comedy||Liar Liar||Nominated|
|1998||Saturn Award||Best Actress||Bride of Chucky||Nominated|
|2001||DVD Exclusive Award||Best Actress in a DVD Premiere Movie||Ball in the House||Won|
|2004||Fangoria Chainsaw Award||Best Actress||Seed of Chucky||3rd place|
|MTV Movie & TV Award||Best Frightened Performance||Nominated|
|2006||GLAAD Media Award||Golden Gate Award||Herself||Honoured|
|2007||San Diego Film Festival||Best Actress||Intervention||Won|
|2010||TheWIFTS Foundation International Visionary Award||Barbara Tipple Award||Intervention and Inconceivable||Won|
|2015||Behind the Voice Actors Award||Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role - Action/Drama||Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja||Nominated|
- Theater World Award for Most Promising Newcomer – One Shoe Off
- Dramalogue Award – Vaniti
- Florida Film Festival Award for Artistic Achievement
- Asheville Film Festival Career Achievement Award (2006)
- World Series of Poker Bracelet: In 2005, Tilly won the $1,000 Ladies' No Limit Hold'em; the prize was $158,335.
- CardPlayer Best Celebrity Player of the Year
- WPT Ladies Night Champion
- WPT Bellagio Cup 5K ($124,455)
- Jennifer Tilly on Howard Stern (October 28, 2004) on YouTube
- Jennifer Tilly, Fiona Dourif & Don Mancini Discuss "Cult of Chucky" (October 3, 2017) on YouTube
- "Jennifer Tilly @Jtillathekilla2". Twitter. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- 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.
- "A LOOK AT THE CAREER OF JENNIFER TILLY". MyFilmViews.com. May 19, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- "Thoroughly modern Tilly". Mountain Xpress. November 8, 2006. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- "Jennifer Tilly: Little voice, big talent". The Independent. November 19, 2004. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Gardner, Chris (June 6, 2017). "Jennifer Tilly Will Probably Be 'in Every Chucky Movie Till the End of Time'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "How Chucky's Killer Bride Jennifer Tilly Became An Unexpected Horror Icon". TooFab.com. October 4, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- Macias, Gil (October 10, 2017). "The Glorious Return of Horror Icon Jennifer Tilly". Playboy Sweden. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- Jennifer Tilly biography at Theinsider.com Archived January 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Meg Tilly is Asian Irish" Archived December 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine March 2011, Asiance magazine
- BankrollBoost.com. "Jennifer Tilly – Poker Pro Bio, Pictures and Poker Videos". Bankrollboost.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- "Jennifer Tilly: Little voice, big talent". The Independent. London. November 19, 2004.
- "Official Meg Tilly Website". Officialmegtilly.com. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
- Meg Tilly is Asian Irish Archived December 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Mar 2011, asiance magazine
- "Jennifer Tilly Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo!. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Video on YouTube
- "Jennifer Tilly - Awards - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
- Desk, BWW News. "Jennifer Tilly is the "Ace In The Hole" for CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY LIVE!".
- "JENNIFER TILLY - SHERMAN OAKS, CA, UNITED STATES". WSOP.com. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "Jennifer Tilly - World Poker Tour". worldpokertour.com. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "TV, Cinema, Poker – A long conversation with Jennifer Tilly". somuchpoker.com. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Jennifer Tilly wins poker tournament". Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- "GSN's Celebrity Poker Tournaments on TV: "Poker Royale". June 14, 2005, Poker TV.com
- "210 Minutes With Jennifer Tilly".
- "World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions: 2007 Edition (Xbox 360)".
- "Jennifer Tilly's Pro-Am Poker Equalizer Player Profile". Proampokerequalizer.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Jennifer Tilly final monthly column in Bluff Magazine". Bluffmagazine.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Jennifer Tilly resumes monthly column in Bluff Magazine". Bluffmagazine.com. Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "Jennifer Tilly nominated for the 2014 PokerListing spirit of poker living legend award". casinochecking.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- "Jennifer Tilly's profile on The Hendon Mob".
- "Meet Sam Simon, The Dog Nut". July 16, 2007, CBS News
- "'Monsters, Inc.' Voice Cast to Return for Disney+ Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
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