Legendary American actress and comedian Lily Tomlin has thanked her wife while accepting the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday.
Tomlin is best known for her television work (most recently, for Grace and Frankie) as well as countless films including 9 to 5, The Incredible Shrinking Woman and I Heart Huckabees.
She was presented with the award by her 9 to 5 co-star Dolly Parton after Jane Fonda, who also starred in the movie and currently stars with Tomlin in Grace and Frankie), was unable to attend die to illness.
In her acceptance speech, Tomlin, 77, offered young actors some “sage” life advice, including urging them to, “Thank those people on whose shoulders you stand.”
She added: “My partner, writer, Jane Wagner is the one whose shoulders I stand the tallest!”
Tomlin married Wagner, her partner of more than 40 years, in 2014. They first met in March 1971 and not only became romantic partners but also longtime professional collaborators.
Tomlin was over the years criticised by some for not formally coming out, but she has always maintained she’s been open about her sexuality.
She told Just Out in 2008: “Everybody in the industry was certainly aware of my sexuality and of Jane… In interviews, I always reference Jane and talk about Jane, but they don’t always write about it.”
In 2012, Tomlin and Wagner received the 345th star on the Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, California. In December 2014, President Obama recognised Tomlin at the Kennedy Center Honors.