Lily Tomlin is one of Hollywood's most trailblazing actresses and now she has a trophy from her peers to commemorate the achievements. The 77-year-old was honored with the 53rd SAG Life Achievement Award at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards, and there was no one better to introduce her illustrious career than her 9 to 5 co-star Dolly Parton.
"The highest honor that you can get is going to be given to my 9 to 5 buddy, Lily Tomlin. Lily is receiving an award I’ve been trying my whole life to avoid: sag award," Parton joked. "The third member of our trio, Jane [Fonda]: I know you thought she was going to be here. We did too. She got sick at the last minute."
Fortunately, the actress was there in spirit. "Lily and Jane and I have become like a little trio. People have been talking for years, saying that we should do a follow-up sequel to 9 to 5. I think we’ve better get after it, or they’re going to call it 95," the country singer joked.
VIDEO: SAG Awards Red Carpet
Parton went on to praise her beloved co-star. "We all know what a great actor she is, but the Life Achievement Award recognizes both career achievement and humanitarian accomplishments, so it’s important to mention the causes that are close to her heart," she added, citing Tomlin's lifelong support of civil rights, animal welfare, the issues facing the homeless and the LGBT community.
The icon graciously took the stage, giving a big hug to her longtime BFF before delivering one heck of a comedic speech. "Ironically, this award makes you feel not like you’ve done so much but more like you wish you had done so much more to receive an honor such as this," she joked. "Somehow, I learned to turn my flaws into spiritual lessons. I must say, watching Oprah really helped."
Tomlin then shared some wise advice for all of those following in her path. "Don’t leave the house when you’re drunk. And if you’re already out there, well you must learn to tell when you’ve had too much to drink. Listen to your friends, when they stop talking to you and start talking about you, saying things like, ‘Did she have a purse?’" she joked.
"And don’t be anxious about missing an opportunity. Behind every failure is an opportunity someone wishes they had missed," Tomlin said. "Meryl [Streep] is laughing at this, and there’s absolutely no time she’s had a failure."
"Live your life so that when you are being honored for your achievements, the people called upon to make laudatory remarks can feel reasonably honest about their comments," she said. "Finally, thank those people on whose shoulders you stand. My partner, Jane Wagner, is the one on whose shoulders I stand the tallest."
"I feel like I’m just getting started," Tomlin said. We'll raise a glass to that.