Lily Tomlin is as busy as ever, currently starring in "Gracie and Frankie" with Jane Fonda. She began her career by doing stand-up comedy in nightclubs in Detroit and New York. Her first television appearance was on "The Merv Griffin Show." She went on to have astronomical success with several characters, notably Ernestine, a nosy, condescending telephone operator on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967). Other notable characters are in film include Linnea Reese, a gospel-singing mother of two deaf children who has an affair with a womanizing country singer (played by (Keith Carradine) in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975). A performance for which she was nominated an Academy Award. Violet Newstead who joins her on-screen coworkers (played by Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton) in seeking revenge on their monstrous and sexist boss, Franklin M. Hart Jr., (played by Dabney Coleman) in the comedy 9 to 5 (1980), The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), Doreen Piggot in Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993), Cher's best-friend and American compatriot Georgie Rockwell in Tea with Mussolini (1999), deadpan private investigator, and existentialist Vivian Jaffe in I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Country-Western singer Rhonda Johnson in Robert Altman's final film A Prairie Home Companion (2006).
Ernestine gossips with Cher
Ted Talk: A hilarious celebration of lifelong female friendship | Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin