Jennifer Tilly (born September 16, 1958) is an American actress and poker player. She is an Academy Award nominee, and a World Series of Poker Ladies' Event bracelet winner. She is sister to Academy-Award-nominated actress Meg Tilly.
Tilly was born Jennifer E. Chan in Harbor City, Los Angeles, California. She is the second of four children of Harry Chan, a used car salesman, and Patricia (née Tilly), a schoolteacher and former stage actress. Her father was Chinese American and her mother was of Irish, Native-American and Finnish ancestry. Following her parents' divorce when she was five, she was raised by her mother and stepfather, John Ward, on rural Texada Island, British Columbia, Canada. Her mother divorced again when Tilly was a teenager, and moved to Victoria, where Tilly attended Belmont High School. Jennifer Tilly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from Stephens College in Missouri.
Tilly had small roles in TV shows and movies beginning in 1983. She had a recurring guest role on Hill Street Blues as Gina Srignoli, a mobster's widow who becomes romantically involved with detective Henry Goldblume. She played Frasier Crane's seductive-but-ditzy date on an episode of the fourth season of Cheers and also appears as a similar character on the eleventh season of Frasier . She appeared as Garry's girlfriend on It's Garry Shandling's Show, which aired on Showtime. She was also cast as a high end prostitute in the short lived comedy, Key West, alongside Fisher Stevens. Tilly's breakthrough film role was as a singing waitress in The Fabulous Baker Boys in a part that was specially written for her by Steve Kloves. That same year, she played a small part in the cult classic horse racing movie, Let it Ride with Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr, that Tilly later said "should have done better."