Jennifer Tilly - Biography

Last Modified: Nov 17, 2022

Jennifer Tilly
Nick Name: The Unabombshell
Profession: Actress, Poker player
Best Known For: Bullets Over Broadway (film)
Salary: Under Review
Net Worth: $25 million

Personal Details

Born on : September 16, 1958 (age 64)
Birth Name /
Full Name:
Jennifer Ellen Chan
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Horoscope: Virgo
Father's Name: Harry Chan
Mother's Name: Patricia Tilly
Siblings: 3

Steve Tilly (older brother)
Meg Tilly (younger sister)
Rebecca "
Tilly (younger sister)

High School: Belmont High School
University: Stephens College
Ethnicity: Multi-ethnic (Chinese, Finnish, Irish)
Nationality: American, Canadian


Sexual Orientation: Straight
Marital Status: In Relationship
Boyfriend Name: Phil Laak

Sam Simon (1984-1991)

Body Measurements

Height: 1.70 meter (5 feet 7 inch)
Weight: 67 kg (147.71 lb)
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Shoe Size: 7.5 US
Dress Size: 10 US
Breast Size: 40 inch
Waist Size: 30 inch
Hip Size: 38 inch
Bra Size: 40
Cup Size: D

Table of contents [Hide]

Who is Jennifer Tilly?

Jennifer Tilly is an actress, poker player by profession, and American, Canadian by nationality. World Series of Poker Ladies' Event bracelet winner landed her breakthrough as Olive Neal in the film Bullets Over Broadway. Since then she has starred in the films House Arrest, Stuart Little, Tideland, and Cult of Chucky.

Jennifer Tilly – Age, Parents, Siblings

Jennifer Tilly was born in Los Angeles, California, USA as Jennifer Ellen Chan. Her birthdate falls on September 16, 1958. Her father Harry Chan, who was of Chinese descent, worked as a used car salesman while her mother Patricia (née Tilly), who was of Irish and Finnish ancestry, worked as a schoolteacher. Patricia also was a former stage actress.

Her parents divorced when Tilly was just five years old. After her mother remarried John Ward, she and her three siblings- older brother Steve Tilly and younger sisters Meg Tilly and Rebecca Tilly were raised by her mother and stepfather on rural Texada Island in British Columbia. However, Meg and Beckey described Ward as a sadistic pedophile while Jennifer Jennifer did not comment on the matter.

When Jennifer Tilly was 16 years old, her mother divorced again and moved the family to Victoria. Meg and Steve too have taken in their mother’s footsteps and is an actor/actress. Meg is also a successful writer.

from left - Becky, Jennifer, Steven, and Meg Tilly - posted Oct 2018 (Image: writerspace)

Education, Ethnicity

For education, Jennifer Tilly attended Belmont High School. She went on to enroll in the undergraduate program at Stephens College and graduated from the same with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater.

Her ethnicity includes Chinese, Irish, and Finnish.

Jennifer Tilly – Boyfriend, Husband, Children, Divorce

Tilly married her boyfriend Sam Simon in October 1984. Simon is an American director, producer, and writer best known as the developer and producer of The Simpsons. She and her husband (now ex-husband) divorced in March 1991. Although they did not have any children together, they remained good friends until Simon’s death on March 8, 2015, of colorectal cancer. 

Since 2004, Jennifer Tilly has been in a romantic relationship with poker player Phil Laak (aka "The Unabomber"). The couple had first met at a charitable invitational poker tournament and to date seem happy together and often feature each other on social media.

Jennifer Tilly and Phil Laak have been together since 2004 (Image: Pinterest)

Jennifer Tilly – Career

Early Days

Tilly began her career as an actress in the early 1980s. Her debut screen role was in a 1983 episode of the TV series Oh Madeline. This was followed by appearances in an episode(s) of Shaping Up (1984), Hill Street Blues (1984-1985), It's Garry Shandling's Show (1987), Key West (1993), etc. Meanwhile, she also portrayed characters in the films Moving Violations (1985), Johnny Be Good (1988),  The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), and Made in America (1993), among others.

She finally landed her breakthrough role as Olive Neal in the film Bullets Over Broadway (1994).

Films, Series

Throughout her career as an actress, Jennifer Tilly has worked in over 90 films and around 50 TV movies and TV series. Some of the films in which she is famed to have worked include Man with a Gun (1995), American Strays (1996), House Arrest (1996), Bride of Chucky (1998), Stuart Little (1999), The Crew (2000), Jericho Mansions (2003), Seed of Chucky (2004), The Civilization of Maxwell Bright (2005), Inconceivable (2008), An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong (2009), Curse of Chucky (2013), A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits (2016), Cult of Chucky (2017), High Holiday (2021).

Moreover, she has been credited with the TV series/show Family Guy (1999-present), Scruff (2000-2003), Out of Practice (2005-2006), Modern Family (2011-2014), Monsters at Work (2021), Chucky (2021), to name a few and TV movies Sister Mary Explains It All (2001), The Initiation of Sarah (2006), etc.

Jennifer Tilly in Chucky (Image: Bloody Disgusting)


On the set of 2021’s Chucky, Jennifer Tilly has worked with Zackary Arthur, Fiona Dourif, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Alex Vincent, and Lexa Doig.

Poker player

Tilly also took up her father’s hobby- a poker player as well as a gambler. Although she first learned about poker in the video game World Series of Poker, her then-boyfriend was the one who taught her the real game. She went on to play professionally, competing against 600 other players and winning the World Series of Poker bracelet (including $158,625) in the Ladies' No-Limit Texas hold 'em event on June 27, 2005. The same year on September 1, Jennifer Tilly won the third World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament.

She went on to appear in the GSN Poker Royale series, Celebrity Poker Showdown. In the latter, she was defeated by Ida Siconolfi, an online poker champion. In December 2008 Tilly unexpectedly announced her retirement from poker. But with the ever-increasing popularity of poker, she once again returned as a professional poker player in January 2010.

Jennifer Tilly – Awards, Nominations

Jennifer Tilly has earned nominations for CableACE Award (1989), Academy Award (1994), American Comedy Award (1994), Gemini Award (1995), Saturn Award (1996), MTV Movie Award (1996, 2004), Saturn Award (1998), to name a few. Among the nominations, she has won Fantasporto Film Festival (1996), Fantafestival (1998), DVD Exclusive Award (2001), San Diego Film Festival (2007), TheWIFTS Foundation International Visionary Award (2010), and was honored at the 2006 GLAAD Media Award.

As a poker player, her awards include World Series of Poker Bracelet (2005), CardPlayer Best Celebrity Player of the Year, WPT Ladies Night Champion, and WPT Bellagio Cup 5K ($124,455).

Jennifer Tilly won the World Series of Poker Bracelet 2005 (Image: WSOP)

Jennifer Tilly – Net Worth, Salary

The net worth of Tilly is estimated at around $25 million while the figure on her annual income/salary is unknown.

Jennifer Tilly – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

On Instagram and Twitter, Jennifer Tilly is followed by thousands of fans but seems to be absent from Facebook.

Fact Check

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Tags : Jennifer Tilly Steve Tilly Meg Tilly Actress Poker player Bullets Over Broadway Phil Laak Sam Simon