Lily Tomlin made her acting debut in the 1969 TV show, Laugh-In. She played the lovable Ernestine.

Fast forward 40 years to 2009.

Lily noted, "People think of me as a comic, but I've been an actress a long time. Remember, I was nominated for an Academy Award back in 1975 for Nashville."

Director Robert Benton made the observation, "I don't think Tomlin really acts. Her imagination is so vast that she just assumes the personality of the character."

Screenwriter Jane Wagner made the comment, "I don’t know how she takes on the personalities of these characters. I’ve never seen her rehearse to get them, or stand in front of a mirror experimenting. She just gets up and does them."

Of the movies Lili had starred in, it was the 1978 movie, Moment By Moment, released three days before Christmas, which had attracted the most criticisms. It was also a flop at the box office.

"You would have thought we had committed murder," co-star John Travolta recalled in 1981.

Lily added, "When I die, the New York Times will probably run a photo of Ernestine and then mention I made this terrible movie called Moment By Moment."

Moment By Moment was an erotic "Not For Children" May-December drama.

Lily Tomlin played Trisha - a bored 37-year-old housewife living in Southern California.

John Travolta, in his first romantic leading role, after starring in back-to-back box office hits Saturday Night Fever and Grease, played Strip - Trisha's 25-year-old lover.

It was noted the 1978-79 season was the last season of the TV sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter. The show made it debut in 1975. John Travolta by this time was billed as the "special guest star" because he appeared in less than half of that season's episodes.

Of Moment By Moment, The Los Angeles magazine wrote at the time, "The chemistry between Tomlin and Travolta began to rival that between Menachem Begin and Yassar Arafat." A crew staff was quoted saying, "Two weeks into the shooting on location in Malibu, there was nobody on the set that didn't know we were in the middle of a turkey. It was like being on the voyage of the damned."

Two years after its release, Lily described of the experience, "John and I were totally unprepared. We thought it was a sweet, small, lightly funny movie. We were not prepared for what others thought."

However on reflection, Lily conceded, "....It's the one thing that all performers live in fear of - total failure. And when it happens and you survive, I think you're probably in a much better place. It's made me less cautious. It made me place more importance on the experience of working with other artists than on the reaction of critics or the public."

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