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Out100 2015

Out100: Lily Tomlin

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lily tomlinPhotographed at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills, on August 20, 2015.

Lily Tomlin never had a newsworthy coming-out moment. Since the 1970s, when she met her wife, Jane Wagner, her sexual orientation has simply been something that's known. She hasn't strived to be a role model, and as she told Out in May, she thinks "the gay community is far too sophisticated to be indebted to role models." That's typically modest for a woman who says she feels "most myself when I'm performing onstage with an audience that is truly responsive." A 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree, Tomlin has had two high-profile projects this year: the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, in which she and Jane Fonda play women whose husbands leave them for each other, and Grandma, an Oscar-buzzy road trip film that sees Tomlin playing gay. The movie gives the actress her first leading role since 1988's BigBusiness, but more important, it's one of the few contemporary films with a queer actor playing a queer character. Which means, of course, that, at 76, Tomlin is still a pioneer.

SLIDESHOW | Out100 2015

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