Meg Tilly Overview
Occupation Actress, novelist
Partner: (s) Colin Firth (1989–94)
Name: Meg Tilly
Full Name: Margaret Elizabeth Chan
Born: February 14, 1960 (age 55) (1960-02-14) Long Beach, California, United States
Years active: 1980–95, 2010–present (acting) 1994–present (writing)
Siblings: Jennifer Tilly, Steve Tilly, Rebecca Tilly
Children: Will Firth, Emily Zinnemann, David Zinnemann
Parents: Harry Chan, Patricia Tilly
Spouse: Don Calame (m. 2002), John Calley (m. 1995–2002), Tim Zinnemann (m. 1983–1989)
Movies and TV shows: Bomb Girls, The Big Chill, Valmont, Psycho II, Agnes of God
Similar People: Jennifer Tilly, Will Firth, Colin Firth, Livia Giuggioli, Mary Kay Place
Meg Tilly Biography
Meg Tilly is a sweet-faced, soft-spoken young woman who made a name for herself as an actress in the mid-1980s. She is the opposite of most young actresses and has often shunned the limelight which comes with being a celebrity. Meg was born as Margaret E. Chan on Valentine’s Day 1960, in Long Beach California. She is the daughter of Patricia Tilly, a school teacher and former actress, and Harry Chan, a Chinese American car salesman. Meg is the third of four children.
Her sister, Jennifer Tilly, is also an actress. Meg’s parents divorced when she was three years old and her mother took the children to Texada Island in British Columbia, where they were raised by her and a stepfather. At the age of 12, Meg began to take dance lessons and became a highly gifted ballerina. When Meg turned 17 she joined the Connecticut Ballet Company, became part of the Throne Dance Theatre Company and toured with it.
Her dancing ability, and her connection with the touring company, led to her first film role as one of the many background dancers in the famous dance movie Fame (1980). This role opened many doors for her. Unfortunately, her dreams of having a dancing career were dashed when she seriously hurt her back. Meg then turned to act after her experience in Fame.
Meg was frequently typecast as the innocent girl-next-door character. In 1981, Meg was cast in the TV movie entitled The Trouble With Grandpa and also appeared in an episode of the series Hill Street Blues. Meg also played the role of a kind waitress who unwisely befriends Norman Bates, a man who has just been released from a mental hospital in the film Psycho II. In 1982, she appeared with Matt Damon in the heart-warming teen drama Tex. Unfortunately, it did not do well at the box office.
Meg’s biggest break came in the yuppie classic The Big Chill (1983). She played the role of Chloe, the young girlfriend of a dead man, whose seven friends from college have come to his funeral and, later, have a reunion at a very posh South Carolina house.
After The Big Chill, Meg became popular and gained much attention, with pictures and articles written about her in magazines and newspapers, which she found was an invasion of her privacy and disliked intensely. As a result, she chose to act in two very unflattering roles. The films, One Dark Night (1983) and Impulse (1984) were trashy science fiction thrillers.
During the filming of her next film, Amadeus, in which she had the role of the wife of Mozart, Meg tore a ligament in her leg playing soccer with some children and was forced to drop out. In 1986, in the film Agnes of God, Meg plays an innocent nun who was accused of murdering her newborn baby. For this role, she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.
During the same year, Meg played a sweet but feisty police officer in the comedy film Off Beat. Meg starred in a thriller called Masquerade in 1988, as an orphaned millionairess. This film received good reviews and reaffirmed her abilities as an actress.
In the same year, Meg played the role of a mysterious, beautiful woman whose eerie past begins to haunt the young man she marries in the film Girl on a Swing. During the next four years, Meg played a wide variety of roles in various movies that were not always winners. Her last acting role was in 1995 in a television movie entitled Journey.
In the film, Meg plays a mother who abandons her two children and leaves them in the care of grandparents. Since then, Meg has left acting to focus on her personal life and to use her creative skills in writing.
Works And Publications
- Tilly, Meg (1994). Singing Songs. New York, NY: Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-93778-4. OCLC 29357009.
- Tilly, Meg (2006). Gemma. Minneapolis, MN: Syren Book Co. ISBN 978-1-429-95770-0. OCLC 862069558.
- Tilly, Meg (2007). Porcupine. Plattsburgh, NY: Tundra Books. ISBN 978-0-887-76810-1. OCLC 77046068.
- Tilly, Meg (2008). First time. Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers. ISBN 978-1-551-43946-4. OCLC 298262290.
- Tilly, Meg (2013). A Taste of Heaven. Toronto: Penguin Group (Canada). ISBN 978-0-143-18249-8. OCLC 937048604.
The Best Meg Tilly Movies
- Agnes of God
- The Two Jakes
- Psycho II
- The Big Chill
- Leaving Normal
- The Girl in a Swing
- Sleep with Me
- Body Snatchers
- In The Best Interest Of The Child
- Off Beat
- Primal Secrets
- One Dark Night