Tom Wilkinson

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Tom Wilkinson

OBE
Tom Wilkinson.jpg
Wilkinson in 2009
Born
Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson

(1948-02-05)5 February 1948
Died30 December 2023(2023-12-30) (aged 75)
Education
OccupationActor
Years active1976–2023
Spouse
(m. 1988)
ChildrenAlice and Molly

Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson OBE (5 February 1948 – 30 December 2023) was an English actor. Known for his roles on stage and screen, he received numerous accolades including a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards and two Laurence Olivier Awards. In 2005, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Contents

Wilkinson trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making his West End debut portraying Horatio in Hamlet (1980) for which he received a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He returned to the West End playing Dr. Stockmann in the Henrik Ibsen play An Enemy of the People (1988) receiving a Laurence Olivier Award for Actor of the Year in a Revival nomination.

Wilkinson received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Full Monty (1997) as well as two Academy Award nominations, one for Best Actor for In the Bedroom (2001) and Best Supporting Actor for Michael Clayton (2007). He became known as a character actor, acting in numerous films such as In the Name of the Father (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Patriot (2000), Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Batman Begins (2005), Valkyrie (2008), The Ghost Writer (2010), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), Belle (2013), Selma (2014), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Denial (2016).

In 2009 he won a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for playing Benjamin Franklin in the HBO limited series John Adams (2008). His other Emmy-nominated roles were as Roy/Ruth Applewood in the HBO film Normal (2003), James Baker in the HBO film Recount (2008), and Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. in the limited series The Kennedys (2011).

Early life and education

Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson [1] was born on 5 February 1948 in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of Marjorie and Thomas Wilkinson, a farmer. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] At the age of 11, he moved with his family to Kitimat, British Columbia, in Canada, [7] where they lived for five years before returning to the United Kingdom and running a pub in Cornwall. [8] [9] Wilkinson graduated in English and American literature from the University of Kent at Canterbury. [8] While at university, Wilkinson became preoccupied with acting and directing with the University of Kent Drama Society (now called T24 Drama Society). After finishing his degree, Wilkinson then attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, graduating in 1973. [10]

Career

1973–1994: Rise to prominence

Wilkinson made his acting debut on stage at the Nottingham Playhouse. [11] In 1976 he was in his first film which was the thriller Smuga cienia  [ pl ] directed by Andrzej Wajda adapted from the Joseph Conrad short novel The Shadow Line . [12] He later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and made his West End debut as Horatio in the 1981 RSC production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Aldwych Theatre for which he received a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. [13] [11] He went on to act in supporting roles in the British thriller Parker (1984), the biographical film Sylvia (1985), and the mystery Wetherby (1985). [14] He also worked on several British television series, most notably portraying Raymond Gould in the ITV mini-series First Among Equals (1986). [15] He was simultaneously appearing in this series on television and on the West End stage in Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts in which he played Pastor Manders. [11] In 1988 he played Dr. Stockmann in a West End production of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People at the Playhouse Theatre. For his performance he received a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award for Actor of the Year in a Revival. [13] In 1993 he had a small role as an Appeal Prosecutor, Grant Richardson in Jim Sheridan's biographical crime drama In the Name of the Father starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson. He first gained critical acclaim with his appearance as Seth Pecksniff in the BBC's 1994 adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name. [16]

1995–2008: Breakthrough and acclaim

Sissy Spacek and Wilkinson in the Todd Field drama film In the Bedroom (2001) Sissy & Tom Outside The Strand Theatre, Rockland, Maine.tif
Sissy Spacek and Wilkinson in the Todd Field drama film In the Bedroom (2001)

Wilkinson had a small but important role as the dying father, Mr. Dashwood, in the Ang Lee-directed Sense and Sensibility (1995), and played a villain in the adventure drama The Ghost and the Darkness (1996). The following year he gained acclaim for his leading role as Gerald Cooper in the ensemble cast comedy drama The Full Monty (1997). For his performance he earned the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. [17] That same year he portrayed Marquess of Queensberry in the biographical drama Wilde and Hugh Stratton in the romantic drama Oscar and Lucinda . [18] In 1998 he acted in the British romantic costume drama Shakespeare in Love starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, and Judi Dench. The film received acclaim and Wilkinson with the cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. He played the evil British Ambassador/Juntao in the buddy cop movie Rush Hour (1998) starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker and General Lord Cornwallis in the historical war drama film The Patriot (2000) starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger. [19]

Wilkinson at the premiere for Valkyrie in 2009 Tom Wilkinson.2812.jpg
Wilkinson at the premiere for Valkyrie in 2009

Wilkinson won wider critical acclaim for his portrayal of a grieving father Matt Fowler, in Todd Field's indie drama film In the Bedroom (2001). [20] He starred opposite Sissy Spacek and Marisa Tomei. For his performance, he was named Best Actor of the Year by the New York Film Critics' Circle, and went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. [21] He then took roles in the period films The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) and Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003). For his role as Roy/Ruth Applewood in the HBO film Normal he received a nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award. [22] The following year he played Dr. Howard Mierzwiak in the Michel Gondry directed science-fiction romantic comedy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. He portrayed Carmine Falcone in Christopher Nolan's superhero film Batman Begins (2005). He also acted in films such as the horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Julian Fellowes' drama Separate Lies (2005), and Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream (2007). [23]

In 2007, Wilkinson played Arthur Edens, an attorney with bipolar disorder, in Michael Clayton and garnered much critical acclaim with Variety describing his performance as "terrific". He earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. [24] In 2008, Wilkinson portrayed American polymath Benjamin Franklin in the HBO mini-series John Adams ; for his performance he received a Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award, [13] as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. [25] That same year he starred in another HBO project, the political drama Recount , where Wilkinson portrayed American political adviser and lawyer, James A. Baker, in Baker's capacity as Chief Counsel to George W. Bush during the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election, receiving an Emmy Award nomination. [26] [27] He portrayed Friedrich Fromm, acting alongside Tom Cruise, in the World War II thriller Valkyrie and acted in the Guy Ritchie action film RocknRolla (both 2008). [18]

2009–2023: Established actor

Wilkinson in 2016 Tom Wilkinson TIFF 2016.jpg
Wilkinson in 2016

During this time Wilkinson starred in a string of thrillers including Duplicity (2009), The Conspirator (2010), and The Debt (2010). Also in 2010 he starred in the John Landis directed horror comedy Burke and Hare and portrayed a covert CIA agent in Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer . [28] He gained acclaim portraying Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., in the 2011 television miniseries The Kennedys , for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. [29] He and his wife portrayed husband and wife Joe and Rose Kennedy. Earlier that year, he appeared in the comedy film The Green Hornet and the action film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol . The following year he acted in the British comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel starring opposite Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and Maggie Smith. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised his performance writing, "Observed with sensitivity and played with a deep well of sorrow by Wilkinson, this story breathes real tenderness into the movie's reflections on growing older and making peace with past mistakes". [30]

In 2013 he portrayed Lord Mansfield in the costume drama Belle starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The following year Wilkinson portrayed Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, in Ava DuVernay's historical drama film Selma (2014), and had a role in Wes Anderson's comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). [14] [18] He had a lead role alongside Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco in the comedy Unfinished Business (2015). In 2016, he portrayed journalist Ewen MacAskill in Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and barrister Richard Rampton in Denial acting alongside Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall. [18] [31] He briefly reprised his role as Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. in The Kennedys: After Camelot (2017). [32] He voiced Threarah in the BBC One series Watership Down (2018), and played Peregrine, Earl of Brockenhurst in the Julian Fellowes historical drama Belgravia (2019). [18] His final appearance was in a television version of The Full Monty . [11]

Personal life

Wilkinson lived in North London with his wife, actress Diana Hardcastle. [33] [8] They had two daughters: Alice (born in 1989) and Molly (born in 1991). [34]

Death

Wilkinson died of cardiac arrest at his home in London, on 30 December 2023, at the age of 75. [35] [36]

Filmography

Film

List of Tom Wilkinson film credits
YearTitleRoleNotes
1976 Smuga cienia  [ pl ]Chef Ransome [12]
1984 Parker Tom [14] [37]
1985 Sylvia Keith Henderson [14] [18]
Wetherby Roger Braithwaite [14] [37]
1990 Paper Mask Dr. Thorn [14] [18]
1993 In the Name of the Father Grant Richardson [14] [31]
1994 Priest Father Matthew Thomas [14] [18]
A Business Affair Bob [14] [18]
Prince of Jutland Hardvendel [38]
1995 Sense and Sensibility Mr. Dashwood [14] [18]
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness Robert Beaumont [18] [31]
1997 Smilla's Sense of Snow Prof. Loyen [14] [18]
The Full Monty Gerald Arthur Cooper [18] [31]
Wilde Marquess of Queensberry [14] [18]
Oscar and Lucinda Hugh Stratton [18] [31]
1998 The Governess Charles Cavendish [14] [18]
Rush Hour Thomas Griffin/Juntao [18] [31]
Shakespeare in Love Hugh Fennyman [14] [18]
1999 Ride with the Devil Orton Brown [14] [18]
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien Brother Joseph Dutton [14] [18]
2000 Essex Boys John Dyke [14] [18]
The Patriot General Lord Cornwallis [14] [18]
Chain of Fools Robert Bollingsworth [14] [18]
2001 In the Bedroom Matt Fowler [18] [31]
Another Life Mr. Carlton [14] [18]
Black Knight Sir Knolte of Malborough [18] [31]
2002 The Importance of Being Earnest Dr. Frederick Chasuble [14] [18]
Before You Go Frank [18] [37]
2003 Girl with a Pearl Earring Pieter van Ruijven [18] [31]
2004 If Only Taxi driver [18] [37]
Piccadilly Jim Bingley Crocker [18] [37]
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Howard Mierzwiak [18] [31]
Stage Beauty Betterton [18] [31]
A Good Woman Tuppy [18] [31]
2005 Ripley Under Ground John Webster [14] [18]
Batman Begins Carmine Falcone [14] [18]
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Father Moore [18] [31]
Separate Lies James Manning [18] [31]
2006 The Night of the White Pants Max Hagan [14] [18]
The Last Kiss Stephen [14] [18]
2007 Dedication Rudy Holt [14] [18]
Cassandra's Dream Howard [18] [31]
Michael Clayton Arthur Edens [18] [31]
2008 RocknRolla Lenny Cole [18] [31]
Valkyrie Colonel General Friedrich Fromm [18] [31]
2009 Duplicity Howard Tully [18] [31]
44 Inch Chest Archie [18] [31]
2010 The Ghost Writer Paul Emmett [14] [18]
Burke & Hare Dr. Robert Knox [14] [18]
Jackboots on Whitehall Albert and Joseph Goebbels Voice [18] [37]
2011 The Green Hornet James Reid [18] [31]
The Conspirator Reverdy Johnson [18] [31]
The Debt Stefan Gold [18] [31]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol IMF SecretaryUncredited [14] [37]
2012 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Sir Graham Dashwood [18] [37]
The Samaritan Xavier [18] [31]
2013 The Lone Ranger Latham Cole [18] [31]
Belle Lord Mansfield [14] [18]
Felony Detective Carl Summer [14] [18]
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Author [14] [18]
Good People Detective Inspector John Halden [18] [31]
Selma President Lyndon B. Johnson [18] [31]
2015 Unfinished Business Timothy McWinters [18] [31]
Bone in the Throat Charlie [14] [18]
Little Boy Fr. Oliver [14] [18]
Jenny's Wedding Eddie [18] [31]
2016 The Choice Dr. Shep [14] [18]
Snowden Ewen MacAskill [14] [18]
Denial Richard Rampton [14] [18]
This Beautiful Fantastic Alfie Stephenson [18] [37]
2018 The Catcher Was a Spy Paul Scherrer [14] [18]
Burden Tom Griffin [14] [18]
Dead in a Week or Your Money Back Leslie [18] [37]
The Happy Prince Fr. Dunne [14] [18]
The Titan Professor Martin Collingwood [14] [18]
2021 Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets Dr. BirdVoice [18]
SAS: Red Notice William Lewis [37]

Television

List of Tom Wilkinson television credits
YearTitleRoleNotes
1979 Crime and Punishment CadetEpisode: "Part 1" [37]
1983 Panorama CzumaEpisode: "Two Weeks in Winter: How the Army Took Over Poland" [39]
SpyshipMartin TaylorMiniseries [40]
1984 Strangers and Brothers George Passant2 episodes [41]
Sharma and BeyondVivian [14] [37] Television film
Squaring the CircleRulewski [42] [43]
1985 A Pocket Full of Rye Detective Inspector Neele [18] [37]
Happy Families JackEpisode: "Cassie" [44]
1986 First Among Equals Raymond GouldMiniseries [18] [37]
1988 The Woman He Loved Ernest Aldrich Simpson [14] [37] Television film
The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank Silberbauer [14] [37]
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries Robert Hathall3 episodes [45]
1989First and LastStephenTelevision film [18] [37]
1990 Inspector Morse Music Master Jake NormingtonEpisode: "The Infernal Serpent" [46]
TECXHugo GillonEpisode: "The Wine Business" [47]
1990–1996 Screen Two David Hanratty / Father McAteer / Dr. Middleton4 episodes [48] [49] [50] [51]
1991Parnell & the EnglishwomanSir Charles RussellEpisode: "The Libel" [14]
Lovejoy Ashley WilkesEpisode: "One Born Every Minute" [18] [37]
Prime Suspect Peter Rawlins2 episodes [14] [18]
1992UnderbellyPaul ManningMiniseries [52]
Resnick: Lonely Hearts Detective Inspector Charlie ResnickTelevision film [18]
1993 Resnick: Rough Treatment
Stay Lucky AllonEpisode: "Gilding the Lily" [44]
1994 The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries Gerald LacklanderEpisode: "Scales of Justice" [14] [18]
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales [53] Buckingham (voice)Episode: "King Richard II"
Performance Duke VincentioEpisode: "Measure for Measure" [54] [55]
Martin Chuzzlewit Seth PecksniffMiniseries [14]
1996 Eskimo Day [18] [56] Hugh LloydTelevision film
1997Cold Enough for Snow [18]
1999 David Copperfield Narrator (Old David Copperfield) [14] [37]
2002 The Gathering Storm Sir Robert Vansittart [14] [18]
An Angel for MaySam Wheeler [18] [37]
2003 Normal Roy/Ruth Applewood [14] [18]
2008 John Adams Benjamin Franklin Miniseries [18] [37]
Recount James Baker [14] [18] Television film
A Number Salter [14] [18]
2009 The Gruffalo Fox (voice) [18] [37]
2011 The Gruffalo's Child [57]
The Kennedys Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. Miniseries [18] [37]
2017 The Kennedys: After Camelot Cameo [32]
2018 Watership Down Threarah (voice)Miniseries [18]
2020 Belgravia Peregrine, Earl of Brockenhurst6 episodes [18] [37]
2023 The Full Monty Gerald Arthur Cooper6 episodes [18] [37]

Theatre

List of Tom Wilkinson theatre credits
YearTitleRoleNotes
1980 Hamlet Horatio Aldwych Theatre, West End [13]
1988 An Enemy of the People Dr. Stockmann Playhouse Theatre, West End [13] [58]

Video games

List of Tom Wilkinson video game credits
YearTitleVoice role
2005 Batman Begins Carmine Falcone [59]
2012 Sleeping Dogs [60] Superintendent Thomas Pendrew

Awards and honours

Wilkinson received a Doctor of Letters honorary degree from the University of Kent in July 2001. [1] In the 2005 New Year Honours, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to Drama". [61]

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