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SAG Awards: Lily Tomlin Says Life Achievement Honor ‘Came in the Nick of Time’

Variety logo Variety 1/30/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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Actress Lily Tomlin offered some sage advice for young actors as she accepted her life achievement kudo at the SAG Awards on Sunday.

“Don’t leave the house when you’re drunk. Don’t be anxious about missing an opportunity,” she counseled. And she quoted Henry Thoreau: “Beware of any enterprise which requires new clothing.”

Tomlin, the veteran film and TV star, kept her remarks mostly politics-free, in contrast to many other winners and presenters on the kudocast. But she did note that the decision last week to advance the “Doomsday Clock” to two and a half minutes to midnight meant that the career-spanning recognition from SAG “came just in the nick of time.”

Tomlin also quoted the late actress Ruth Gordon who joked about the “encouragement” when she won an Oscar at the age of 72. Tomlin said the inspiration from the SAG Awards had her thinking about the protests that have erupted over the policy moves by President Trump and “what sign should I make for the next march: Global warming, Standing Rock, LGBT issues, immigration — there are so many things.”

While acknowledging her nerves about having to deliver the speech, with her longtime friend and former “9 to 5” co-star Dolly Parton at her side, Tomlin told the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium: “We could all go out and really change things.”

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