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[FILM] Meg Tilly (Margaret Chan) Actress & Author of "Gemma" about Child Abuse

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  • madchinaman
    Meg Tilly From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meg_Tilly Meg Tilly Born: February 14, 1960 Long Beach, California ,USA
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 17, 2006
      Meg Tilly
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Meg Tilly Born: February 14, 1960

      Long Beach, California ,USA

      Occupation: Actor, dancer, author

      Meg Tilly (born February 14, 1960) is an Oscar-nominated American
      actress, Broadway stage dancer and ballerina.

      Early Life and Family
      Tilly was born Margaret Chan in Long Beach, California in 1960, the
      third of four children of Harry Chan, a Chinese-American businessman
      and Patricia Tilly, an Irish-Canadian schoolteacher. Following her
      parents divorce when she was three, she was raised by her mother and
      stepfather in her mother's native British Columbia, Canada. Tilly
      attended Esquimalt High School in Victoria, British Columbia. She
      has two sisters: Rebecca, and actress Jennifer Tilly (born 1958).

      Teenage and Early Career
      As a teen, she was involved with the Connecticut Ballet Company, as
      well as the Throne Dance Theatre, and made her screen debut with
      Alan Parker's Fame in 1980.

      Acting Career on Films and Television

      As Sarah in the 1994 movie Sleep with MeA serious back injury forced
      her to give up dance, and she entered the field of acting, appearing
      in Hill Street Blues, The Big Chill, and Psycho II before appearing
      in Agnes of God, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award,
      and won a Golden Globe Award for her searing performance. She later
      appeared in Valmont, Girl in a Swing, and Leaving Normal. Tilly also
      appeared in Body Snatchers, in which she delivered a pessimistic
      monologue in the stylings of an alien.

      Tilly has also written a novel entitled Singing Songs, and has a
      second novel entitled Gemma forthcoming in October 2006. With the
      release of her second novel Tilly finally confirmed that both books
      were autobiographical accounts of her childhood.

      Personal Life and Relationships
      Tilly has three children: Emily (born 1984) and David (born 1986),
      by her marriage to film producer Tim Zinnemann, which ended in 1989,
      and a son, Will (born 1990), from her five-year relationship with
      with British actor Colin Firth.

      Her second husband was the thirty years older John Calley, a former
      president of Sony Pictures; they were married in 1995 and divorced
      in 2002.

      Now remarried and living in British Columbia, Tilly has not appeared
      in a film since 1995, having decided to retire from acting in order
      to raise her children.

      Awards and Nominations
      Academy of Science Ficton, Fantasy, and Horror Films, USA

      1984, Best Actress for Psycho II, (Nomination)
      Academy Awards

      1986, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Agnes of God,
      Golden Globe Awards

      1986, Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Movie for Agnes of God,

      Selected filmography
      Journey (1995)
      Trick of the Eye aka Primal Secrets (1994)
      Winnetka Road (1994)
      Sleep With Me (1994)
      Body Snatchers (1993)
      The Two Jakes (1990)
      Valmont (1989)
      Agnes of God (1985)
      The Big Chill (1983)
      Psycho II (1983)
      Fame (1980)


      Meg Tilly was set on being a dancer, and at 17 connected to the
      Connecticut Ballet Company and later Throne Dance Theatre. It was in
      this capacity that she had her screen debut in Alan Parker's Fame

      Unfortunately, an injury to her back cut short her plans for a dance
      career, and a small appearance in the TV series "Hill Street Blues"
      (1981) turned her towards acting (her dancing skills were not all
      forgotten, as was evident in The Big Chill (1983) and Psycho II

      She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for
      Agnes of God (1985), and nobody doubted that she was on her way to
      stardom. One step on the road to that status was her being cast in
      Milos Forman's Amadeus (1984) as Constanza, but again her body
      interfered, and seven weeks into the production with her foot in a
      cast were more than the producers could accept, and she was

      Her "consolation", was a role in Forman's next project Valmont
      (1989), didn't do her career much good. Since then she has averaged
      a movie a year, and with the exception of Leaving Normal (1992),
      none have tapped the enormous reservoir of talent she has.


      Mother Patricia was a teacher, and former stage actress, her father
      Harry (Chinese), a car salesman. In the mid 1960s her mother
      divorced and moved back to Texada Island, British Columbia, to live
      with Tilly's grandmother, and later the family moved to Victoria.
      Sister of actress Jennifer Tilly.

      Raised in British Columbia by her mother and step-father, Meg
      started taking dancing lessons at age 12. She earned a scholarship
      to a top ballet school in New York. At 17 was connected to
      Connecticut Ballet Company and later Throne Dance Theatre, but a
      serious back injury ended her dancing career.

      She then went to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and the
      rest, as they say, is history. Meg made her first film appearance in
      a bit as an auditioning dancer in Fame (1980). She has also written
      a novel titled "Singing Songs".

      Son, with Colin Firth, William (b. 1990).

      Sister of actress Jennifer Tilly

      Was originally cast as Mozart's wife in Amadeus (1984), but had to
      leave after tearing a ligament in her leg during a soccer game with
      her children one day before her shooting started.

      Relationship with Colin Firth began while filming Milos Forman's
      Valmont (1989).

      In high school, everyone called Jennifer, Meg, and their younger
      sister Becky the Three Musketeers.

      Is 1/2 Caucasian and 1/2 Chinese.

      Retired in 1995 and moved to British Columbia to devote herself to
      writing and raising a family.

      Her first fiction novel was "Singing Songs" (1994; Dutton Books)
      based on memories of her own childhood. Her second novel "Gemma"
      (2006; Syren Book Company), is a graphic, disturbing tale about
      child sexual abuse, which has prompted her to recently reveal her
      own true-life sexual abuse as a youngster growing up.

      While older sister Jennifer Tilly has remained mum about the history
      of childhood sexual abuse in the family recently revealed by Meg
      (which included her stepfather and one of her mother's boyfriends),
      youngest sister Becky has corroborated her sister's revelations.


      Actor Meg Tilly opens her heart to the public in new novel, "Gemma"
      Category/Issue: Arts & Entertainment, Volume 33 No. 19
      Examiner Editor

      When times got rough for young Meg Tilly, she climbed up apple
      trees, seeking solace in the woods, meadows and nature.

      It was natural then for Tilly to use the Pacific Northwest as
      settings in her writing and settle in a region where nature can
      readily soothe her soul.

      The actress-turned-writer lives in Vancouver, B.C., where she says
      she loves the rain and the change of seasons. She visits Seattle
      this month to read from her new novel, "Gemma."

      Tilly, best known for her movie roles in "The Big Chill" and "Agnes
      of God," explores a topic close to heart in "Gemma," a story about
      child molestation and sexual abuse. She presents both sides of the
      issue, allowing readers to not only hear the voice of the adult
      predator, but that of his young victim as well.

      After leaving Hollywood for more than a decade, Tilly, 46, has shed
      her usual private self and speaks publicly about the trauma of her
      childhood: physical and sexual abuse by relatives, including two

      Often in the spotlight, Tilly, sister to Jennifer Tilly, believed
      that she had to "present the picture-perfect life" to the public.
      She wondered how people would react if they knew the truth about her
      past physical and sexual trauma.

      "We're really supposed to keep it like our dirty secret," Tilly
      said, who later felt compelled to write about the topic.

      Though Tilly has a famous name to sell books, publishing companies
      did not want to pick up "Gemma" because of its difficult and graphic
      subject matter.

      Tilly persevered with "Gemma," not only because she wanted to stay
      true to her creative voice, but also because she wanted to combat
      Hollywood's sensationalization of the topic.

      With "Gemma," where readers follow the kidnapping and ensuing sexual
      abuse of 12-year-old Gemma by her mother's boyfriend, Tilly wanted
      to show the real consequences of sexual abuse.

      As the number of cases of child sexual abuse rise in alarming
      numbers, Tilly does not pretend to have an answer to the problem,
      nor know how communities, including the Asian American community,
      begin to address the issue. Tilly, whose father was Chinese-
      American, did not grow up with the cultural influence, as her mother
      divorced him when she was three years old.

      Tilly can only hope that the problem can be addressed with each
      person, individually, before whole communities can be healed.

      Tilly is now content to have the opportunity to raise her children
      in a nice, safe environment and have time to pursue her writing
      career. She gets up at 6:45 a.m., makes hot breakfast for her son,
      puts on a pot of green tea, and writes — at the same time as her
      writer-husband Don — from 8 a.m. to lunch.

      Tilly's rule is to write a minimum of four times a week. She
      says, "I don't feel complete if I haven't gone to the page."

      Meg Tilly reads on Oct. 21 at Elliott Bay Book Company and Oct. 22
      at Village Books in Bellingham.
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