Birth Name: Jennifer Ellen Chan
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: September 16, 1958
*father – Chinese
*mother – Finnish, Irish
Jennifer Tilly is an American/Canadian actress and poker player. Particularly associated with the Chucky character and franchise, she has starred in 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 on 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 of Chinese descent. Her mother, Patricia Ann Tilly, a Canadian teacher and actress, had Irish, Finnish, and possibly First Nations, ancestry. Her 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.
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.
Sources: The Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk