Jennifer Tilly

14th Annual Race to Erase MS Themed "Dance to Erase MS"

Tilly in 2007, photo by

Birth Name: Jennifer Ellen Chan

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: September 16, 1958

*father – Chinese
*mother – Finnish, English

Jennifer Tilly is an American/Canadian actress and poker player. Particularly associated with the Chucky character and franchise, her roles include the films Let It Ride, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Made in America (1993), The Getaway (1994), Bullets Over Broadway, House Arrest, Bound, Edie & Pen, Liar Liar, Music from Another Room, Bride of Chucky, and its sequels including Seed of Chucky; Stuart Little, Dancing at the Blue Iguana, Monsters, Inc., The Cat’s Meow, The Haunted Mansion (2003), Home on the Range, and Tideland, and the shows Family Guy and Chucky. She has won a World Series of Poker Ladies’ Event bracelet, and the World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament in 2005. Her live tournament winnings have exceeded $1 million.

She is the sister of actress Meg Tilly. Her father, Harry Chan, a car salesman, was born in California, of Chinese descent. Her mother, Patricia Ann (Tilly), an Illinois-born teacher and actress, was of Finnish and English descent. Jennifer’s birth surname was Chan, but after her parents’ divorce, her name was changed to her mother’s maiden name Tilly. Jennifer was raised mostly in British Columbia, Canada, on rural Texada Island, and then in Langford, Victoria. Her nephew, sister’s son, is actor William Joseph Firth.

Jennifer’s sister Meg has said:

My mother was Irish/Finnish. Unfortunately, we were not raised to respect our Chinese history and tradition. My mother and father divorced in 1963, when I was three. My mother was quite bitter… We were told that we must never tell anyone that we were half Chinese, because if people knew they wouldn’t let their children play with us… for many years, I had my mother’s warnings echoing in my ears. I didn’t tell anyone. I was grown, but still, I was scared. Thought it would limit me, the roles I would be offered. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I started to tell the people closest to me. When they didn’t run in horror, I got braver and spoke of it more. What a relief it was to finally acknowledge all of me.

It is not clear if Jennifer’s mother had Irish ancestry. She is also sometimes reported as having had First Nations/Indigenous Canadian roots. This is not accurate.

Jennifer’s paternal grandfather was named Harry Chan. Harry was born in Guangdong, China.

Jennifer’s paternal grandmother was Enna/Emma/Eva Lum (the daughter of Bohim Lum and Gam Y. Lee). Enna was born in Taiwan, to Chinese parents.

Jennifer’s maternal grandfather was Ray Virgil Tilly (the son of Van Buren/Vanburen/Vanburin Tilly/Tilley and Elizabeth Tucker). Ray was born in Illinois.

Jennifer’s maternal grandmother was Ellen Anna Flinkman (the daughter of Jacob Flinkman and Josephine/Justina Adalina Maki). Ellen was born in Issaquah, King, Washington, to Finnish parents.

Sources: The Independent –

Jennifer’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –
Jennifer’s father on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Jennifer’s maternal grandparents, Ray Virgil Tilly and Ellen Anna Flinkman, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary record of Jennifer’s maternal grandfather, Ray Virgil Tilly –

Social Security record of Jennifer’s maternal grandmother, Ellen Anna (Flinkman) Tilly –

Washington death record of Jennifer’s maternal great-grandmother, Josephine/Justina Adalina (Maki) Flinkman –

Elizabeth Taylor's Jewelry Auction

Tilly in 2002, photo by

Lil Vacha

Hello, everyone.! XD

47 Responses

  1. Smellybert says:

    She looks Slavic.
    Nor surprising with her Asian ancestry.
    Eastern Slavs especially have much Asian ancestry.
    Some people consider Slavs whites.
    I consider them to be mixed race.

  2. ann says:

    Jennifer’s maternal grandfather was Patrick Tilly (the son of Jean-Claude Tilly and Samantha Mulhearn). Patrick was born Toronto, Canada. Jean-Claude was born in Montreal, Canada to Jean-Luc Tilly, who was French from Paris, and of
    Amanda Cardinal. Jennifer’s great-grandmother Samantha was born in London, England, the daughter of Neil Mulhearn, who was from Dublin, Ireland, and of Lindsay MacLellan, who was from Glasgow, Scotland.

    Jennifer’s maternal grandmother was Martha Jarvinen (the daughter of Jarmo Jarvinen and Martha Bol). Martha was born in Hanna, Alberta, Canada. Jarmo was born in Canada, the son of Samppa Jarvinen and Paivi Halonen, who were Finnish immigrants from Helsinki. Jennifer’s great-grandmother Martha was the daughter of Conradus Bol, who was Dutch from Amsterdam, and of Sarah Thomas, from Cardiff, Wales.

    • madman says:

      None of those people actually existed, it’s based on a fake tree.

      • ann says:

        Too good to be true. Why this tree is still excisted since it’s all fake?annoys

        • madman says:

          There were many trees made of celebrities by a single user on a while ago. What’s interesting with this one however is that the current geni tree of the Tillys references, but geneanet likely got the tree from the original false tree on geni in the first place (they didn’t get it from research at least). So I can only imagine it was taken down from geni for being false and then put back up again by someone else who saw the same tree but on geneanet. Now it has spread to multiple genealogy websites, even familysearch which often has sources for every single ancestor has part of it on there.

          If anyone cares to unravel this, Patricia A. Tilly was born in 1931 (and is still alive despite what the tree says). Her mother was said to live on Texada Island where the family moved, so maybe she was from that part of B.C.

  3. madman says:

    Jennifer’s paternal grandfather was Harry Chan. Harry was born in Guangdong, China.

    Jennifer’s paternal grandmother was Enna/Emma/Eva Lum. (the daughter of Bohim Lum and Gam Y. Lee). Enna was born in Taiwan, to Chinese parents.

    The maternal side is the work of Joseph John Boyce.

  4. Burritowithmeltedcheese says:

    I remember her in Liar Liar.. I just thought she was just a white woman.. didn’t even know she was mixed, even when I watched the movie as an adult until I recently found out her heritage.

    the older she’s gotten, however, it’s almost as if the Chinese has become more visible..

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