February 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm EST | by John Paul King
Lily Tomlin to be honored with foot and handprint ceremony at Chinese Theatre
Lily Tomlin (Photo courtesy PRNewsfoto/Turner Classic Movies)

A bona fide LGBTQ icon is soon to join the ranks of some of the greatest stars in the history of Hollywood by having her hand and footprints imprinted in the world-famous courtyard of the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced last week that it will honor veteran acress and comedian Lily Tomlin with a hand and footprint ceremony at the landmark movie house during the network’s upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival. The Tony, Grammy, eight-time Emmy and two-time Peabody Award winner will be honored on Friday, April 7.

The hand-and-footprint tradition began in 1927, when then-owner Sid Grauman honored stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford at the first ever ceremony. Since then, though the theater has changed owners, the ceremonies have continued, and the forecourt outside the main entrance has long been one of Hollywood’s most-visited spots for fans looking to stand in the footprints of their favorite stars.

TCM began holding ceremonies at the theatre in 2011, honoring actor Peter O’Toole during their second annual Classic Film Festival. They have honored a different Hollywood legend each consecutive year since then, including Kim Novak, Jane Fonda, Cicely Tyson, and Billy Crystal.

Tomlin will be the tenth star to be honored by the network.

Ben Mankiewicz, TCM’s primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, had this to say about the actress:

“Lily Tomlin’s talent has endured for fifty years because she knows who she is. She’s managed to play broadly drawn roles alongside more nuanced characters without a hint of falseness. Not long ago, Tomlin told The New York Times, ‘I wanted people to see the characters as human beings. And see themselves in them, too.’  The humanity she 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,”where she co-stars alongside another seminal artist, Jane Fonda. 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. Whether your favorite Lily Tomlin performance is “The Late Show,”or “9 to 5,” or “Nashville” wait, I’m not done…  or “All of Me,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “I Heart Huckabees,”or “A Prairie Home Companion,”you know all of those pictures were made more memorable because Lily Tomlin was among the cast. It’s hard to imagine a more deserving artist to have her hand and footprints cemented outside Hollywood’s signature classic movie house.”

In addition to her decades-long career as a performer, Tomlin has long been a respected and visible member of the LGBTQ community, as many LGBTQ media outlets, like LGBTQ Nation, have been quick to point out. She has been with her partner, film producer and writer Jane Wagner for nearly fifty years (the couple married in 2013), and they are staunch advocates and activists for LGBTQ rights and other causes. They are both benefactors of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. In December, the actress was arrested at “Grace and Frankie” co-star Fonda’s weekly “Fire Drill Fridays” climate change protest in Washington, D.C.

The 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival takes place Thursday, April 16 – Sunday, April 19, 2020. It will feature an extensive lineup of classic movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.

For more information and tickets visit the TCM website.

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