Tom Wilkinson
Birth Date:
December 12, 1948
Birth Place:
Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, UK
6' 2˝
Famous for:
His role in 'The Full Monty' (1997)
University of Kent at Canterbury (with a degree in English and American Literature)
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In the Bedroom


“I’ve never lost that feeling of glamour. I remember when we went to the Golden Globes, which is the only one of those big things that I’ve ever been to, I can remember thinking: Christ, there’s Madonna!” Tom Wilkinson

Academy Award nominated British film, television and stage actor Tom Wilkinson is known for specializing in portraying guys suffering from some sort of emotional tyranny and/or pretensions of societal grandeur. The popular character actor enjoyed a successful career on stage before earning his first critical acclaim as a screen performer with the BAFTA-nominating performance of Mr. Pecksniff in the miniseries version of “Martin Chuzzlewit” (1994). Three years later, Wilkinson received his international stardom with the hugely popular The Full Monty, for director Peter Cattaneo. Portraying the scene-stealing role of the male stripper Gerald, he nabbed such awards as a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. The role also marked Wilkinson’s breakthrough. In 1999, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his bright comic turn in the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love (1998). Wilkinson gained even more recognition after starring as Matt Fowler in Todd Field’s In the Bedroom, opposite Sissy Spacek. Delivering a spectacular acting, he earned a number of praise, including a Sundance Film Festival Award, a New York Film Critics Circle Award, an Independent Spirit as well as an Academy Award nomination. In a more recent time, he was critically appreciated as Roy ‘Ruth’ Applewood in Jane Anderson’s television film Normal (2003), where he got an Emmy and a Golden Globe nominations.

The award-winner is also memorable for playing role in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), Cold Enough for Snow (1997, TV), The Patriot (2000), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Batman Begins (2005). Wilkinson is scheduled to have roles in the forthcoming films The Night of the White Pants (2006), The Last Kiss (2006), Dedication (2006), Michael Clayton (2006) and Untitled Woody Allen Summer Project (2007).

Off screen, the recipient of the 2001 Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from University of Kent is married to actress Diana Hardcastle. The couple has two daughters, Alice and Molly.


Childhood and Family:

Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, on December 12, 1948, Tom Wilkinson moved with his family to Canada as a young. He returned to England five years later, and settled in the district around Cornwell. He attended University of Kent at Canterbury, where he received a degree in English and American Literature, and was accepted into drama program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in early 1970s. His professional career began when he joined a company in Camden, recruited a day after graduating from RADA.

On January 5, 1988, Tom tied the knot with actress Diana Hardcastle. A year later, the pair welcomed their first daughter, Alice, and their second daughter, Molly, was born in 1992.

The Full Monty


A former student of RADA, Tom Wilkinson made his professional debut as an actor one day after graduating from the academy. In the mid-1970s, he hit the big screen for the first time with a supporting role in Poland/UK-produced Smuga cienia (1976) and moved to TV three years later with the miniseries “Crime and Punishment” (1979). By the 80s, Wilkinson had become a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and was noted for a fine supporting role in the production of “Hamlet” (1981). He continued to make impression, this time as a star of the biographical drama “Tom and Viv” (1983, played poet T.S. Eliot), alongside Julie Covington, at the Royal Court Theatre. The same year, he costarred with Paul Geoffrey and Peter Eyre in the British miniseries “Spyship,” and assignments in movies Squaring the Circle (TV), Parker, Strangers and Brothers, and Sylvia followed the next years. In 1985, he found himself acting opposite the award-winning actors Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Ian Holm in Wetherby, an acclaimed drama written and directed by David Here. The next years, he rejoined Redgrave for an acclaimed stage revival of “Ghost” (1986) at the Young Vic, received good reviews as a butcher’s son from Leeds with goals to the office of prime minister in the British miniseries “First Among Equals” (1986), played supporting roles in CBS films The Woman He Loved (1988, as Ernest Simpson) and The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank (1988, starred Mary Steenburgen and Paul Scofield), as well as experienced a stage victory in “An Enemy of the People” (1988).

After a string of guest appearance, including turn as Peter Rawlins in the well-liked “Prime Suspect” (1991, aired on PBS’ “Mystery”), Wilkinson assumed the title role of Det. Insp. Charlie Resnick in BBC’s adaptation of John Harvey’s detective books Resnick: Lonely Hearts (1992) and Resnick: Rough Treatment (1993). He returned to filmmaking in 1993 by appearing as Appeal Prosecutor in the Jim Sheridan-helmed biopic In the Name of the Father, and followed it up with a costarring turn opposite Linus Roache in Antonia Bird’s controversial drama Priest (1994), portraying a pastor who had a love affair with his housekeeper. A somewhat prolific TV actor, Wilkinson got his first real attention when he was cast as Mr. Pecksniff in the BBC adaptation of “Martin Chuzzlewit” (1994), a drama miniseries by Pedr James. For his fine acting, Wilkinson gained critical applause and won a Best Actor nomination from BAFTA .

He segued to film the next year by teaming up with Ang Lee in the director’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s book Sense and Sensibility. His role of Mr. Dashwood put the British performer on the attention of American audiences. Following an evil role in The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) and small roles in the romance Jilting Joe (1997) and director Bille August’s action-thriller Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997, starred Julia Ormond), an occasional movie actor, Wilkinson finally scored a massive success when director Peter Cattaneo cast him in the supporting role of Gerald in the comedy ensemble The Full Monty (1997). The movie was an international hit, and Wilkinson’s exceptional portrait of the grown-up steel mill supervisor turned stripper established his reputation as a steadfast and authoritative screen presence. Additionally, he was handed a BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Cast and a MTV Movie nod for Best Dance Sequence. Later that same year, Wilkinson delivered another tremendous portrayal of Lord Queensberry, the wicked father of Lord Alfred Douglas (Jude Law) in the Stephen Fry starring vehicle Wilde, as well as appeared as the brutal adoptive father of the title male in Oscar and Lucinda. In comedy/drama made-for- television film Cold Enough for Snow (1997), he earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor for playing Hugh Lloyd.

The triumph of The Full Monte quickly made Wilkinson a hot property. He then took on the romantic lead of Mr. Charles Cavendish in the period drama The Governess (1998, also starred Minnie Driver and Harriet Walter), had a co-starring role opposite Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the blockbuster hit Rush Hour (1998), gave a pleasant comic turn as a moneylender turned theater producer named Hugh Fennyman in the Oscar-winning Best Picture Shakespeare in Love (1998) for which he picked up a 1999 Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Cast, appeared in Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999, starred David Wenham in the title role) and made a cameo appearance as Orton Brown in Ang Lee’s Ride With the Devil (1999).

Next up, Wilkinson was perfectly cast as an aristocratic Cornwallis in the war film The Patriot (2000) starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, had a supporting role in the action Essex Boys (2000) and found himself acting opposite Salma Hayek , Steve Zahn and Jeff Goldblum and Elijah Wood in the comedy Chain of Fools (2000). The same year, the player also made his way back to the London stage after a many year hiatus with David Hare’s play “My Zinc Bed” (2000), starring along side Julia Ormand.

In 2001, Wilkinson attracted the attention of public with his highly acclaimed performance, starring as Matt Fowler, a Maine doctor struggling with heartache and his decayed marriage in actor Todd Field’s directorial debut, the well-received film In the Bedroom. Costarring opposite Sissy Spacek, Wilkinson was handed a Special Jury Prize for his raw and nuanced performance when the film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Wilkinson’s bright in-front-off-the camera effort also won him a New York Film Critics Circle and an Independent Spirit for Best Actor as well as a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Shifting from the sublime to the outlandish, Wilkinson was then discovered in the comedy Black Knight (2001, starred Martin Lawrence), playing bearded, drunken, down-on-his-luck knight. He charged much better in his next films, the remake of Oscar Wilde’s superior comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (2002, played supporting role Dr. Chausible) and the celebrated HBO film The Path to War (2002, as Sir Robert Vansittart). By 2003, he had proved he was back on the saddle again with his superb portrayal of Roy ‘Ruth’ Applewood, a Midwestern man who wants a sex modify after 25 years of marriage in Normal, a telefilm directed and written by Jane Anderson and also starring Jessica Lange. Wilkinson’s performance was critically lauded, and he was garnered with an Emmy and a Golden Globe nods for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. He also costarred with Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson in the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring, that same year.

The following year saw roles in films like Piccadilly Jim (2004), If Only (2004, appeared as taxi driver), the Charlie Kaufman-scripted Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, opposite Jim Carrey), Stage Beauty (2004) and A Good Woman (2004, played London theater owner Betterton), opposite Claire Danes and Billy Crudup. In 2005, Wilkinson could be seen as the crooked Gotham City felony boss Carmine Falcone in the hugely popular Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale as Batman and helmed by Christopher Nolan. He also portrayed Father Moore in The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), starred with Emily Watson and Rupert Everett in Separate Lies (2005) and supported Barry Pepper in Ripley Under Ground (2005).

Recently, 58-year-old Wilkinson has completed two motion pictures. The first is director/writer Amy Talkington’s comedy The Night of the White Pants (2006), starring along with Nick Stahl and Selma Blair, and the next is The Last Kiss (2006), a comedy/drama starring Zach Braff. He is also set to team with Billy Crudup, Martin Freeman and Mandy Moore in Dedication (2006) and play a role in the George Clooney upcoming vehicle Michael Clayton (2006, attached for the Arthur Edens role). Additionally, the actor will join Woody Allen in the writer/director’s 2007 project.


  • Independent Spirit: Best Male Lead, In the Bedroom, 2002
  • New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, In the Bedroom, 2001
  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast, Shakespeare in Love, 1999
  • Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize - Dramatic, In the Bedroom, 1998
  • BAFTA: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, The Full Monty, 1998
  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast, The Full Monty, 1998

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