Jane Wager, 78, was born in Morristown, Tennessee, and met her wife, actress Lily Tomlin, in 1971. The couple has been together for over 40 years, and even share a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tonight, Lily Tomlin will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild at the SAG Awards.
A talented writer and director, Wagner received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Special Citation Award in 1986 and the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Director in 1989 for her work on The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.
Read on to learn more about Jane Wagner.
1. They Married After 42 Years Together
Wagner and Tomlin met in 1971 and married on New Year’s Eve 2013, after 42 years together. They met when Tomlin asked Wagner to help her on a comedy album she was working on. In 2006, Tomlin told Metro Weekly, “Frankly, I was pretty taken with her as soon as I saw her… We just sort of clicked. We became a couple right away.”
A 1988 profile on Tomlin read, “Real is the word for Lily. Usually she collaborates with her best friend writer Jane Wagner. When they’re not on the road, Lily says, home is ‘a big old pink stucco house in L.A. that used to belong to W.C. Fields. It’s casual, airy, light, very feminine, a soft house.’”
2. They Are Writing Partners
Wagner discovered her talent for writing as a young girl in Tennessee. At Morristown High School, she wrote for the school newspaper, and when she was 17, she left for New York City, where she studied acting, and also painting and sculpture at the School of Visual Arts. Her writing debut came with the CBS special J.T., for which she received a Peabody Award.
Wagner and Tomlin are writing partners. Together, they’ve worked on Tomlin’s Tony-award winning one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and The Incredible Shrinking Woman. They also collaborated on Tomlin’s comedy album And That’s The Truth.
Wagner wrote and directed the 1978 Moment By Moment (photo above), which starred Tomlin and John Travolta.
3. They Married in a Small Ceremony
The couple married in a small ceremony at a friend’s home. Tomlin recently spoke about the wedding with People, saying, “It was sweet, We didn’t have any rings, so I went into our jewelry and was digging out rings. I said, ‘We have to have some kind of rings!’”
Tomlin hinted that marriage may be in the future a few months before the wedding, when she told E Online, “We’re thinking maybe we’ll get married.” At the time, Tomlin also joked that the wedding would be very low key. “No rings, no bridal dresses. Maybe we’ll be dressed like chickens.”
4. They Share a Twitter Account
Tomlin and Wagner share a Twitter account, which you can check out here. Their Twitter bio reads, “This is the OFFICIAL Twitter page of comedian Lily Tomlin and writer/producer/director Jane Wagner.”
A 1994 article in the Chicago Tribune commented on their love for one another. The article says, “They fret over each other. They worry. They nag. Is Lily getting a cold? Is Jane getting enough rest? Lily, have the oatmeal. Jane, take a nap.”
Tom told the outlet, “I love her… I don’t want anything bad to happen to her.”
5. They’ve Won Three Primetime Emmy Awards Together
Together, the couple has won three Primetime Emmy Awards in 1974 for Best Writing in Comedy-Variety, Variety or Music for Lily, 1976 for Writing of The Lily Tomlin Special, and 1981 for writing for “Lily: Sold Out.”