Laugh legend Lily coming the Portland


PORTLAND — Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Lily Tomlin, one of America’s foremost comediennes, will perform Nov. 8 at the State Theatre.

The woman who rose to national prominence with her “Laugh-In” characterizations of Ernestine, the irascible telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish 6-year-old, continues to star in television, theater, motion pictures, animation and video.

Throughout her entertainment career, Tomlin has received numerous awards, including six Emmys; a Tony for her one-woman Broadway show, “Appearing Nitely;” a second Tony as Best Actress, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics’ Circle Award for her one-woman performance in Jane Wagner’s “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe;” and a Grammy for her comedy album, “This is a Recording.”

Tomlin made her television debut in 1966 on “The Garry Moore Show.” She joined the cast of the top-rated NBC show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in 1969.

When “Laugh-In” left the air, Tomlin went on to co-write, with Jane Wagner, and star in six comedy television specials. She has guest starred on numerous television shows, such as “Homicide,” “X-Files” and “Will and Grace,” and played the boss for two years on the popular CBS series, “Murphy Brown.” She is also heard as the voice of the science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the popular children’s animated series, “The Magic School Bus,” for which she was awarded an Emmy.

Besides an impressive theater career, Tomlin left her mark on the film industry, earning an Academy Award nomination for her 1975 portrayal of Linnea, a gospel singer and mother of two deaf children in “Nashville,” and both the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics voted her Best Supporting Actress.

She went on to star with John Travolta as a lonely housewife in “Moment By Moment” (1978), and then teamed with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in the comedy “9 to 5” (1980). Her film career continued into the 1990s, starring in movies with Woody Allen, Jack Lemmon, Dan Akroyd, Richard Dreyfuss, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman in movies that include “I Heart Huckabees,” “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Clousseau in Pink Panther II.” For her extensive work in film, she has received the Crystal Award from Women in Film.

In the fall of 2003, Tomlin received the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

In 2008, she joined, a website where Whoopi Goldberg, Candice Bergen, Jane Wagner and other celebrities have created an online community owned and run by women for women of all ages and origins.

Tickets to the Nov. 8 show, for reserved seating, are $55, $45 and $35. Call 800-745-3000, log on to or visit the Cumberland County Civic Center box office. The State Theatre is at 609 Congress St.

The multitalented Lily Tomlin will perform Nov. 8 at the State Theatre in Portland.