Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$3 million
Date Of BirthFebruary 14, 1960
SpouseDon Calame (m. 2002), John Calley (m. 1995–2002), Tim Zinnemann (m. 1983–1989)
FactHer father was of Chinese descent and her mother had Irish and Finnish ancestry.


Meg Tilly is a Canadian-American actress and novelist. For her role in the 1985 film Agnes of God, she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has also appeared in The Big Chill (1983), Valmont (1989), Psycho II (1983), The Two Jakes (1990), and Leaving Normal (1992).

Tilly was born Margaret Elizabeth Chan in Long Beach, California, the daughter of Patricia Ann (née O’Kelley), a nurse, and Harry Chan, a businessman. Her father was of Chinese descent and her mother was of Irish, First Nations, and Scottish descent. She has an older brother, Steve, and two younger sisters, Rebecca and Jennifer. She was raised in British Columbia, Canada.

Tilly began her acting career at the age of 16 in a CBC Television series entitled For the Record (1977). She made her feature film debut in Alan Parker’s film Fame (1980). She subsequently appeared in a number of films, including John Schlesinger’s Honky Tonk Freeway (1981), Walter Hill’s The Warriors (1979), Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (1981), Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields (1984), and Agnes of God (1985).

In 1985, Tilly had starring roles in two films that were critical and commercial successes: Valmont and The Big Chill. She subsequently appeared in a number of other films, including Psycho II (1983), The Two Jakes (1990), Leaving Normal (1992), and In the Bedroom (2001).

Tilly has also appeared in several television series, most notably as Georgia Sykes in the Showtime series Billions (2016–present).

Tilly has been married twice: first to Timothy Hutton from 1983 to 1990, with whom she had one son, and then to John Calley from 2002 to 2009. She has two daughters from her second marriage, Emma and Lily.

Tilly is 5’10” (1.78 m) tall and has green eyes.

General Info

Net Worth$3 million
Date Of BirthFebruary 14, 1960
Height1.68 m
ProfessionNovelist, Actor
EducationEsquimalt High School

Family

SpouseDon Calame (m. 2002), John Calley (m. 1995–2002), Tim Zinnemann (m. 1983–1989)
ChildrenWill Firth, David Zinnemann, Emily Zinnemann
ParentsHarry Chan, Patricia Tilly
SiblingsJennifer Tilly, Steve Tilly, Rebecca Tilly
PartnerColin Firth

Accomplishments

AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, Canadian Screen Awards - Shaw Media Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
MoviesValmont, The Big Chill, Psycho II, Agnes of God, Body Snatchers, The Two Jakes, Sleep with Me, One Dark Night, Masquerade, Leaving Normal, Antibirth, The Girl in a Swing, Fame, Off Beat, Primal Secrets, Tex, Impulse, War Machine, In The Best Interest Of The Child, The Trouble with Grandpa, Journey
TV ShowsBomb Girls, Road to Avonlea, Winnetka Road

Social profile links

Quotes

#Quote
1[on her Chinese heritage] Unfortunately, we were not raised to respect our Chinese history and tradition. My mother and father divorced in 1963, when I was three. My mother was quite bitter. She spoke very angrily about him and everything Chinese. If ever you did anything bad or selfish, it was "the Chinese coming out in you." We were told that we must never tell anyone that we were half Chinese, because if people knew they wouldn't let their children play with us... The difficult part was growing up, feeling like I had to reject and deny and turn my back on half of what I was. The wonderful part is, that is behind me now. Things are different... You didn't know I was Asian, because for many years, I had my mother's warnings echoing in my ears. I didn't tell anyone. I was grown, but still, I was scared. Thought it would limit me, the roles I would be offered. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I started to tell the people closest to me. When they didn't run in horror, I got braver and spoke of it more. What a relief it was to finally acknowledge all of me.
2[re 30th anniversary reunion of The Big Chill (1983) cast in 2013] It's wonderful, I'm so happy they had the idea to bring us all together to do this. It's such a gift, I get to see everybody again and I haven't seen everybody in so long. To see their happy smiling faces, that was such a blessing, I'm really grateful.
3[on her role in Bomb Girls (2012)] It wasn't just another job, stacking cans of tomatoes in a supermarket. I was building the bombs and the ammunition that my sons were using. If I built a faulty one, it might mean that they might die. There was a real sense that we needed to do the best job that we possibly can. At least for my character, it was vitally important. It was almost obsessive: that if she does her best she will keep her kids safe.
4If you meet people who have been successful in Hollywood, or look at their photographs, you see a haunted look in their eyes. You sense a trapped feeling.
5I'm not that fashion-conscious. A lot of time, when women are appearing to be so perfect, it's because they're a mess underneath.
6I still have a problem with nuns. I follow them around like a kitten with a ball of yarn.
7I really enjoy acting. At home I can't even finish a sentence, and here am I reading these wonderful lines. I think it must be every housewife's dream, to be an actress part-time.
8[on her retirement from acting] Do I regret quitting? Absolutely not. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had the privilege of watching my children grow up. I was there for the joys and the sorrows, the challenging heartbreaking times as well as the giddy, exuberant triumphs. I would not have traded those years for anything in the world.

Facts

#Fact
1Abandoned acting after Journey (1995) in order to focus on her family and her writings. She didn't act again until Caprica: Unvanquished (2010).
2Younger sister, Becky, is a post-impressionist painter.
3Ex-sister-in-law of Sam Simon.
4Former daughter-in-law of Fred Zinnemann.
5Was in consideration for the part of Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction (1994) but Uma Thurman, who went on to receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
6Children from her marriage to Tim Zinnemann: Emily (b. 1984) and David (b. 1986).
7Said that her worst film experience was working with Anthony Perkins in Psycho II (1983). Her best film experience was working with Norman Jewison, Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft in Agnes of God (1985). Interestingly, both films resulted in Tilly being nominated for several awards, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
8While filming One Dark Night (1982), she was incredibly uncomfortable in the actual mausoleum. Her reactions to her surroundings were often genuine. During the scenes where she was hysterical, she actually did throw herself into hysterics and it took her awhile after each take to calm herself down.
9While older sister Jennifer Tilly has remained mum about the history of childhood sexual abuse in the family recently revealed by Meg (which included her stepfather and one of her mother's boyfriends), youngest sister Becky has corroborated her sister's revelations.
10Her first fiction novel was "Singing Songs" (1994; Dutton Books) based on memories of her own childhood. Her second novel "Gemma" (2006; Syren Book Company), is a graphic, disturbing tale about child sexual abuse, which has prompted her to recently reveal her own true-life sexual abuse as a youngster growing up.
111995: Retired from acting and moved to British Columbia, Canada, to devote herself to writing and raising a family.
12Her father was of Chinese descent and her mother had Irish and Finnish ancestry.
13In high school, everyone called Jennifer, Meg, and their younger sister Becky the Three Musketeers.
14Relationship with Colin Firth began while filming Milos Forman's Valmont (1989).
15Was originally cast as Mozart's wife in Amadeus (1984), but had to leave after tearing a ligament in her leg during a soccer game with her children one day before her shooting started.
16Younger sister of actress Jennifer Tilly and Steve Tilly.
17Son, with Colin Firth, William Joseph Firth (b. 1990).

Pictures

Movies

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
War Machine2017Jeannie McMahon
Antibirth2016Lorna
Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy2014TV MovieLorna Corbett
Bomb Girls2012-2013TV SeriesLorna Corbett
Caprica2010TV SeriesMother
Journey1995TV MovieMin
Trick of the Eye1994TV MovieFaith Crowell
Sleep with Me1994Sarah
Winnetka Road1994TV SeriesGeorge Grace
Fallen Angels1993TV SeriesLois Weldon
Body Snatchers1993Carol Malone
Avonlea1993TV SeriesEvelyn Grier
Leaving Normal1992Marianne
The Two Jakes1990Kitty Berman
In the Best Interest of the Child1990TV MovieJennifer Colton
Valmont1989Madame de Tourvel
Nightmare Classics1989TV SeriesCarmilla
The Girl in a Swing1988Karin
Masquerade1988Olivia Lawrence
Off Beat1986Rachel Wareham
Agnes of God1985Sister Agnes
Impulse1984Jennifer
The Big Chill1983Chloe
Psycho II1983Mary Loomis
Tex1982Jamie Collins
Hill Street Blues1982TV SeriesHooker
One Dark Night1982Julie Wells
Insight1981TV SeriesDorie
Fame1980Principal Dancer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Winnetka Road1994TV Series 1 episode

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Home & Family2017TV SeriesHerself
The Big Chill: Thirtieth Anniversary Q&A2014Video shortHerself
The 38th Annual Gracie Awards2013TV SpecialHerself
The Hour2011-2013TV SeriesHerself
Revealed2013TV SeriesHerself
The View2006TV SeriesHerself
The Big Chill: A Reunion1999Video documentaryHerself
The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards1998TV SpecialHerself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1994TV SeriesHerself
Today1994TV SeriesHerself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1994TV SeriesHerself
Hour Magazine1988TV SeriesHerself
The 58th Annual Academy Awards1986TV SpecialHerself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role
The 43rd Annual Golden Globe Awards1986TV SpecialHerself - Winner: Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Awards

Won Awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovie
2013Canadian Screen AwardCanadian Screen Awards, CABest Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic RoleBomb Girls (2012)
2012LeoLeo AwardsBest Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic SeriesBomb Girls (2012)
1986Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion PictureAgnes of God (1985)

Nominated Awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovie
2014ACTRA Toronto AwardACTRA AwardsOutstanding Performance - FemaleBomb Girls (2012)
2014Canadian Screen AwardCanadian Screen Awards, CABest Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic RoleBomb Girls (2012)
2013Golden NymphMonte-Carlo TV FestivalOutstanding Actress in a Drama SeriesBomb Girls (2012)
2012Golden NymphMonte-Carlo TV FestivalOutstanding Actress in a Mini-SeriesBomb Girls (2012)
1986OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actress in a Supporting RoleAgnes of God (1985)
1984Saturn AwardAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USABest Supporting ActressPsycho II (1983)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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