Actress Lily Tomlin confided to E! Online writer Marc Malkin that she and her partner of 42 years are contemplating getting married. The "9 to 5" star said that she and Jane Wagner, who met in 1971, never thought that they would see legal same sex marriages in the U.S. in their lifetime.

"Jane and I have been together for 42 years," Tomlin said Monday at The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Pre-Emmy Performers Peer Group reception. "You didn't think that would happen. It's pretty remarkable."

Tomlin, who turns 74 on September 1, said that she and Wagner, 78, began to contemplate tying the knot after seeing how happy getting married made several of their friends.

"You don't really need to get married, but marriage is awfully nice," she said. "Everybody I know who got married, they say it really makes a difference. They feel very very happy about it."

When asked if theirs would be a traditional wedding with rings and a white gown, Tomlin quipped, "No rings, no bridal dresses. Maybe we'll be dressed like chickens."

Tomlin told Metro Weekly in 2006 that she met Wagner when they decided to collaborate on a comedy album. The actress said that it was very close to being love at first sight.

"Frankly, I was pretty taken with her as soon as I saw her," she said. "We just sort of clicked. We became a couple right away."

"I know what a good heart she has," Tomlin said about her partner, "and how empathetic she is with all kinds of people and issues -- she's so brilliant on top of it that she can voice these things. And she's as funny as she can possibly be. She makes me laugh."

[image of Lily Tomlin via Joe Seer /]