Jennifer Tilly, born as Jennifer Elizabeth Chan, grew up in Harbor City, Los Angeles, California, and was born on September 16, 1958. She has a very diverse background seeing as her dad is Chinese American and her mother is of Irish, Finnish, and Native-American descent. Her mother, Patricia, being a Canadian schoolteacher and former stage actress may have influenced Tilly into getting a bachelor's degree in Theatre from Stephens College in Missouri. She is best known for her acting career, but she is also a famous poker player.
Jennifer Tilly's Poker HistoryJennifer Tilly did not start out her poker career until much after she had already cemented her role as a big-time actress in Hollywood. She started playing poker due to the influence of her boyfriend, poker pro Phil Laak. It is no surprise she started playing after starting to date him in 2005. Incidentally it was in 2005 that Tilly became a famous poker player. Along with the help of her boyfriend, she went on to win the 2005 World Series of Poker in the Ladies' No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em event, where she won $158,625. Later on that same year, she won the third World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament, located in Los Angeles. In a TV interview that year, she was quoted saying that she more interested in pursuing a poker career rather than continue with her acting career. The dream did not last long; in 2008 Tilly declared her retirement from professional poker. She declared that trying to pursue poker as a career was "an elusive dream" and that it held too many variants. She has not quit playing poker, just on a professional level, and continues to play it more like a hobby.
Jennifer Tilly's Other ActivitiesWith her celebrity status, she has been invited to many poker tournaments and TV shows that feature celebrities that play poker. Some of the poker-centred TV shows include, 'Celebrity Poker Showdown', 'Poker Royale', and 'Poker Superstars'. She was even made into a character in the poker video game, 'World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions 2007 Edition', alongside her boyfriend Phil Laak. Even before she was known for her poker playing abilities, she was first a recognized TV and movie personality. She has acted in many TV shows, some of the most popular ones include, Cheers, Hey Arnold, and voice-acting the part of Bonnie Swanson in Family Guy. She has acted in more than 70 films. Some of her most famous parts were during 'Bullets Over Broadway', 'Bound', 'Liar Liar', 'Dancing at the Blue Iguana', and 'The Cat's Meow'.
Jennifer Tilly's Overall SuccessJennifer Tilly has had to work very hard in order to gain the status she has now, both as an actress and a poker player. As an actress, she has won several acting awards throughout her career. Some awards are the Dramalogue Award, Fanta Festival Best Actress, and the Florida Film Festival Award Artistic Achievement Award. She has also been nominated for her supporting roles in a lot of her major motion films, such as Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'. She is also famous for her voice acting in 'Monsters Inc.', 'Stuart Little', and hit TV show 'Family Guy'.
As for Tilly's poker success, it was all achieved in a short time between her going pro and then retiring in just 3 years. Her best year was when she began her professional poker career in 2005. She won several big time tournaments, including her bracelet win at the 2005 WSOP Ladies' No Limit Hold'em event. While playing in the WSOP, she has also had 8 money finishes. During her short time playing in the WPT, she did not make it to the final tables but she did end up getting 4 money finishes. In 2010, her total live tournament winnings were over $660,000, and that does not include the money she has won from cash and online games. As she is now retired, she is enjoying playing poker in a casual and carefree manner.