Lily Tomlin: Me coming out as gay would have ‘literally’ killed my mother

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Hollywood actress Lily Tomlin has said her mother would “literally” have died if she had come out as gay while she was alive.

Tomlin said she waited until after he mother died to come out as gay.

She said: said: “My mother would have died. Literally. If she’d lived to see me come out.

“Bless her heart, she was Southern, basically fundamentalist, but she was very witty and sweet and kind and she adored Jane. She died 10 years ago. She was 91. So that was always kind of a dilemma for me.”

The 76-year-old came out as gay, and married Jane Wagner, with who she often worked, back in 2013.

The actress also said earlier in her career she turned down films that said “thoughtless things about women”.

Speaking to the Telegraph, she said: “They sent me two or three Neil Simon scripts over the years.

“When you’re first in the business you’re so innocent and free, the script would literally leap out of my hands into the trash can. Then afterward you get to know more and more people and you make more compromises.”

The Grace and Frankie star, who shot to fame as a comic in 1969 before later finding success with cult hit films like Nashville and 9 to 5, never had a grand ‘coming out’.

However, she has quietly spoken about her sexuality for a number of years – and married her long-term partner Jane Wagner on New Year’s Eve 2013.

Matt Damon caused controversy over the summer when he suggested gay actors who come out are less successful – but later insisted he was not advising them to stay in the closet.