Meg Tilly

Active - 1980 - 2017  |   Born - Feb 14, 1960 in Long Beach, California, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Horror, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Meg Tilly has always been close-mouthed about the date and place of her birth; raised in British Columbia, she aspired to be a dancer, but a serious back injury put an end to this dream. Even so, she made her first film appearance in a bit part as an auditioning dancer in Fame (1980). For the next few years, she alternated between worthwhile endeavors like Tex (1982) and bill-paying potboilers like Psycho II (1983). As Chloe, the very young girlfriend of thirtysomething suicide victim Kevin Costner in The Big Chill, Tilly shrivelled the hearts of the audience with her poignant observation, "I don't know very many happy people." In 1985, she earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Sister Agnes, a young nun accused of murdering her newborn baby, in Agnes of God. By the early '90s, her screen appearances became increasingly, frustratingly rare. In 1994, Tilly wrote a slim volume titled Singing Songs, and that same year played a small recurring role on the prime-time TV soap opera Winnetka Road. Meg Tilly is the older sister of actress Jennifer Tilly.

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  • Took up ballet during her teens.
  • Moved to New York City after high school to pursue a career in dance, eventually joining the Connecticut Ballet Company. She also danced with the Throne Dance Theatre. 
  • Fractured her back when her partner in a dance class dropped her. The injury ended her ballet dreams.
  • Convinced by her sister Jennifer to pursue an acting career.
  • Her first play in L.A. (The Girl on the Via Flamina) turned out to be costar Sean Penn's first, as well.
  • Left acting during her 30s to raise her three children.
  • Writes novels for adults and young adults.
  • Met her husband, fellow writer Don Calame, in a writing workshop.