Tom Wilkinson Biography

(English Actor Known for His Films: ‘The Full Monty’, ‘Michael Clayton’ and ‘In the Bedroom’)

Birthday: December 12, 1948 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Wharfedale, Yorkshire, England

Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson is popular British actor. He has been honored with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his ‘services to drama’. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the British Academy Film Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He began his career with an academic interest in theatre and soon joined The Royal Shakespeare Company to perform. He has also performed with The National Theatre and The Oxford Playhouse. His powerful presence on stage boosted his confidence, and he segued into different roles in film and television. Since then he has never looked back and has a wide range of roles and characters to his credit. It was not until his portrayal as Dr. Matt Fowler in ‘In the Bedroom’ that he gained prominence across the globe. Over the years, his progressive portfolio of work has only increased his reputation, and he continues to choose roles that enhance his innate depth and acuity while performing. He remains a popular actor to this day and a favorite among directors.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In December

Also Known As: Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson

Age: 73 Years, 73 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Diana Hardcastle (m. 1988)

father: Thomas Wilkinson Sr.

mother: Marjorie Wilkinson

Actors British Men

Notable Alumni: University Of Kent

City: Leeds, England

More Facts

education: Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art, University Of Kent

Childhood & Early Life
Tom Wilkinson was born on February 5, 1948, in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Though an Englishman, he was raised in Canada for five years before the family returned to the UK. His parents, Marjorie and Thomas Wilkinson, were farmers, and he spent his early years on a farm.
He was schooled at British Columbia, and he graduated from Kent University at Canterbury obtaining a degree in English and American Studies. Later, he decided to enroll himself at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to pursue theatre.
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Tom Wilkinson made his film debut with the acclaimed director, Andrzej Wajda, in the movie ‘The Shadow Line’ in 1976. The film didn’t fare well, but Wilkinson had established himself as a powerful actor. Though he continued acting on stage, he switched to film for financial reasons.
He made his television debut with Jeffery Archer’s adaptation of ‘First Among Equals’ in 1986, where he played a butcher’s son aspiring to be a prime minister. In the coming years, he appeared in small roles on television dramas.
His other notable appearances in the 1980s included Parker (1984), Sylvia (1985), and Wetherby (1985). He remained more active in television during this decade, including his role in the memorable BBC series ‘Miss Marple’ and the crime drama series ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’.
Though Wilkinson was an established part of the industry, he hadn’t received a role where he could leave an indelible mark. It was with Ang Lee’s period drama ‘Sense and Sensibility’ in 1995 that he emerged as a notable actor.
His next most acclaimed movie was Peter Cattaneo’s ‘The Full Monty’, a British comedy, in 1997, which earned him a BAFTA award, and the appreciation of a wider audience.
He worked in several films in the 1990s, including ‘Oscar and Lucinda’, ‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘The Governess’, and ‘The Essex Boys’. He also starred in the BBC adaptation of ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’, a mini-series for TV.
In the 1998 film ‘Rush Hour’, he acted alongside Jackie Chan, where he portrayed the role of the antagonist. The movie was a commercial success.
Tom Wilkinson’s most memorable performance was his portrayal of Matt Fowler in the 2001 movie ‘In the Bedroom’. The New York Film Critics’ Circle named him the ‘Best Actor of the Year’ and he received further praise in the form of an Academy Award nomination.
His acting repertoire comprises several internationally successful films such as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (2003), ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (2004), ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ (2005), and ‘Batman Begins’ (2005).
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His second Academy Award nomination came in for his role as Arthur Edens, an attorney suffering from bipolar disorder, in the film ‘Micheal Clayton’, in 2007. He also was given a role in Woody Allen’s ‘Cassandra’s Dream’ in the same year.
In 2008, he starred in the HBO mini-series ‘John Adams’. He portrayed Benjamin Franklin in it and received an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors’ Guild Award nomination for this role.
He played the American political advisor and lawyer, James A. Baker in the HBO political drama ‘Recount’ (2008). In the same year, he starred alongside Tom Cruise in the World War II thriller ‘Valkyrie’ where he played the role of the Commander in Chief of the German Reserve Army, Friedrich Fromm.
Tom Wilkinson’s career progressed at a steady pace and he has appeared in over 20 since 2008, including the horror comedy ‘Burke and Hare’, Roman Polanski’s ‘The Ghost Writer’, Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, and John Madden’s ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.
He played Joseph Kennedy Sr. in the 2011 historical mini-series ‘The Kennedys’. His real wife Diana Hardcastle played his on-screen wife, Rose Kennedy, in this movie. He was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for this role.
He has recorded his voice for the video games ‘Batman Begins’ as Carmine Falcone and ‘Sleeping Dogs’ as Superintendent Pendrew.
In 2016, he played a British lawyer, Richard Rampton, in the movie ‘Denial’. He represented Deborah Lipstadt (played by Rachel Weisz) after she was charged with libel by a Holocaust denier.
He has several releases lined up in 2018, including ‘Burden’, ‘The Happy Prince’, and ‘The Titan’; he is also a part of the upcoming British animated television mini-series ‘Watership Down’.
Major Works
His most crucial role in Hollywood was his Oscar-nominated role as Dr. Matt Fowler in Todd Field’s film ‘In the Bedroom’ (2001). Critics have praised this role to be his best and have applauded his nuanced performance.

Another high point in Wilkinson’s career was when he starred in Tony Gilroy’s 2007 legal thriller ‘Micheal Clayton’ alongside George Clooney. He played Arthur Edens, a senior lawyer who threatens to expose a crooked client. Critics praised his role as ‘convincing’ and ‘brilliant’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Tom Wilkinson is married to the actress Diana Hardcastle since 1998, and they have two daughters, Alice and Molly. The family lives in North London. They plan to renew their wedding vows on their 30th anniversary.
For his services to the industry, he was awarded a ‘Doctor of Letters’ honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of Kent, in 2001.
As part of the 2005 New Year Honors, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.
His favorite television series are F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Midsomer Murders.
He never works or accepts any commitments in August as that is the time earmarked for his family holiday. He declined a role in a ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy citing the same reason.
When asked if he’s ever regretted being a part of any of his movies, Wilkinson said that he would like ‘Black Knight’ to be forgotten.
He is an associate member of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)


Golden Globe Awards
2009 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television John Adams (2008)
Primetime Emmy Awards
2008 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie John Adams (2008)
BAFTA Awards
1998 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role The Full Monty (1997)

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