Tom Wilkinson Biography

Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare In Love

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Released: December 25, 1998
Director: John Madden
Producer: Edward Zwick, Donna Gigliotti
Studio: Miramax Films
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Ben Affleck, Simon Callow, Jim Carter, Martin Clunes, Imelda Staunton, Rupert Everett
Genre: Comedy
Length: 122 minutes
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Tom Wilkinson Photo

Tom Wilkinson Biography


Date of Birth: December 12, 1948

A popular British character actor, Tom Wilkinson specializes in playing men suffering from some sort of emotional repression and/or pretensions of societal grandeur.

A renowned stage actor in England, Tom has performed with such prestigious companies as The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Oxford Playhouse. His stage work includes title roles in Peer Gynt, Brand and Henry V among many others. His U.K. television credits include Prime Suspect and Martin Chuzzlewit.

Tom made his film debut in Andrjez Wajda's The Shadow Line (1976), and his early films include David Hare's Wetherby and Sylvia (both 1985).

Having landed roles in films and television that garnered him little public notice, Tom hoped to get a chance in the spotlight. "A couple of years ago, I started saying to friends that I hoped I would eventually be in a big hit movie and that I could go to America and do a few movies there."

Active in film and television since the mid-'70s, Tom became familiar to an international audience in 1997 with his role as one of six unemployed workers who strip for cash in Peter Catteneo's enormously successful comedy The Full Monty. "When I said yes to The Full Monty I had no inkling of what it would end up doing. It literally turned into a phenomenon."

After filming The Full Monty, Tom landed a role in the American martial arts film, Rush Hour with Jackie Chan. "I thought it would be the end of my career but I took the part anyway so I could at least say I'd done an American film."

Although the action flick turned out to be mediocre at the box office, Monty became a hit and Tom suddenly became one of the busiest actors in Britain and the United States. His performance as Gerald in the Academy Award-nominated comedy garnered him a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The following year, he won kudos and a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Fennyman in John Madden's Academy Award-winning Shakespeare in Love.

Tom appeared in Ang Lee's Civil War drama Ride with the Devil opposite Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich and Jewel. It marked Tom's second film with Lee; he played Mr. Dashwood in the director's 1995 film Sense & Sensibility opposite Emma Thompson.

In 2000, Tom continued to grace the screen in films such as Mel Gibson's The Patriot and the comic feature The Black Knight.

Although the British Acadamy Awards (BAFTA) have recognized Tom's talent for many years, honoring him with a number of nominations and awards, the Oscars took until 2002 to give him his first nomination. He earned a Best Actor nomination for his work in In the Bedroom (2001). He was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in the HBO TV movie Normal (2003). In 2008, Tom won his first Golden Globe, for his role in John Adams. He continued working steadily throughout the next few years, appearing in films like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) alongside Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, the thriller The Samaritan (2012) with Samuel L. Jackson, and the period drama Belle (2014). He also starred in The Choice (2016), Snowden (2016), and Denial (2016).

Most recently, Tom returned to theaters in the Oscar Wilde biographical drama The Happy Prince(2018) alongside Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, and also stars in the action comedy Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) (2018).

Tom has two daughters, Alice and Molly, with his wife, actress Diana Hardcastle.


Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) (2018)
The Titan (2018)
Burden (2018)
The Happy Prince (2018)
The Catcher was a Spy (2017)
The Choice (2016)
Denial (2016)
Snowden (2016)
Little Boy (2015)
Selma (2015)
Unfinished Business (2015)
Belle (2014)
Felony (2014)
Good People (2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The Lone Ranger (2013)
The Samaritan (2012)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
The Green Hornet (2011)
Burke and Hare (2010)
The Conspirator (2010)
The Debt (2010)
Jackboots on the Whitehall (2010)
The Ghost Writer (2010)
44 Inch Chest (2009)
Duplicity (2009)
Valkyrie (2008)
RocknRolla (2008)
Michael Clayton (2007)
Cassandra’s Dream (2007)
Dedication (2007)
The Last Kiss (2006)
The Night of the White Pants (2006)
Ripley Under Ground (2005)
Separate Lies (2005)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)
A Good Woman (2004)
If Only (2004)
Stage Beauty (2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Piccadilly Jim (2004)
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
Before You Go (2002)
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
Black Knight (2001)
Another Life (2001)
In the Bedroom (2001)
Chain of Fools (2001)
The Patriot (2000)
Essex Boys (2000)
Ride with the Devil (1999)
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Rush Hour (1998)
The Governess (1998)
Oscar and Lucinda (1997)
Wilde (1997)
The Full Monty (1997)
Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)
Jilting Joe (1997)
The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Priest (1994)
A Business Affair (1994)
Prince of Jutland (1994)
In the Name of the Father (1993)
Paper Mask (1990)
Sylvia (1985)
Wetherby (1985)
Parker (1984)
The Shadow Line (1976)

Filmography → Oscars™ Nominations and Awards

Actor The Happy Prince (2018)
Actor The Choice (2016)
Actor Denial (2016)
Actor Snowden (2016)
Actor Little Boy (2015)
Actor Selma (2015)
Actor Belle (2014)
Actor Felony (2014)
Actor Good People (2014)
Actor The Lone Ranger (2013)
Actor Space Junk (2013)
Actor Space Junk 3D (2013)
Actor The Samaritan (2012)
Actor The Conspirator (2011)
Actor The Debt (2010) (2011)
Actor The Green Hornet (2011)
Actor The Gruffalo (2011)
Actor The Kennedys (2011)
Actor The Ghost Writer (2010)
Actor Cassandra's Dream (2009)
Actor Duplicity (2009)
Actor RocknRolla (2008)
Actor Valkyrie (2008)
Actor Dedication (2007)
Actor Michael Clayton (2007) Actor in a Supporting Role Nominee
Actor A Good Woman (2006)
Actor The Last Kiss (2006)
Actor Batman Begins (2005)
Actor Separate Lies (2005)
Actor Stage Beauty (2004)
Actor Black Knight (2001)
Actor In the Bedroom (2001) Actor in a Leading Role Nominee
Actor Chain Of Fools (2000)
Actor The Patriot (2000)
Actor The Governess (1998)
Actor Rush Hour (1998)
Actor Wilde (1998)