Jennifer Tilly: Poker Player or Actress?
Jennifer Tilly, the buxom actress perhaps best known for her high-pitched voice and work in such films as The Fabulous Baker Boys and Liar, Liar, has yo-yoed between success on the screen and success at the poker table. Tilly has, on more than one occasion, declared herself to be either done with focusing on acting or done with focusing on poker. So, what is Tilly – an actress or a poker player?
According to a recent article by Carbon Poker, Tilly, who in addition to her theatrical work has enjoyed success doing voiceover work on such animated shows as Family Guy and the films Monsters, Inc. and Stuart Little, will be portraying herself in a poker-themed episode of the long-running animated series The Simpsons, slated to air during season 24, which will likely be sometime next year.
In the episode, Tilly, who has reportedly earned about $700,000 in poker winnings since 2005, will be featured in an instructional poker video which Lisa views after Homer’s wariness of banks leads him to deposit her entire college fund on an online poker site. Lisa will then attempt to expand her bankroll by playing poker online.
The role is an interesting one for Tilly, who after winning $158,625 and a WSOP bracelet in Ladies’ No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em in 2005 said that she would be turning her focus from acting to playing both live poker and a little bit of poker online. By 2008 she had reversed course and stated that she was finished with poker as a career, saying, "I love poker but greatness in poker is an elusive dream. There are too many variants. Trying to find validation in poker is like trying to find a virgin in a whorehouse. I'm not giving up poker entirely – gambling is an addiction after all. I'm just going to treat it more like a hobby and less like a career."
Though she currently has numerous acting projects in production and post-production, The Simpsons gig would suggest that Tilly hasn’t fully detached herself from poker’s grip. Perhaps this melding of poker and acting is the ideal role for Tilly, since she can’t quite seem to pick one or the other.