Tom Hiddleston was born in Westminster, London. He studied Classics at Pembroke College of the University of Cambridge, where acting agent Lorraine Hamilton witnessed his performance in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Shortly thereafter, he was then given his first television role, appearing in Stephen Whittaker's adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby for ITV. Still in university, Hiddleston appeared in Conspiracy (BBC/HBO), and in the BAFTA and Emmy award-winning BBC/HBO drama The Gathering Storm.
He then continued his studies, focusing on theater at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). After graduating in 2005, Hiddleston starred in his first film role in Joanna Hogg's award-winning first feature, Unrelated. He also appeared in Hogg's second feature, Archipelago in 2010. In the meantime, Hiddlestone had won Best Newcomer in a Play at the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards for his performance in Cymbeline. He'd also appeared in many other shows with the theater company "Cheek By Jowl," and starred in productions at Donmar Warehouse Theatre, including the critically-acclaimed Othello alongside Ewan McGregor, and later as Lvov in their West End revival of Chekhov's Ivanov.
In 2011 Tom's career began to heat up with roles in major motion pictures such as Thor, playing the title character's brother Loki in the Marvel comic-turned film. The role gave him the opportunity to be directed by acclaimed actor/director Kenneth Branagh, having worked with him in the stage production Ivanov and the British TV series Wallander.
Tom returned to the role of Loki in another comic-book inspired film, The Avengers, and appeared in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris alongside Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. He was also seen in the 2012 drama The Deep Blue Sea with Rachel Weisz. He returned to play Loki in Thor: The Dark World (2013) and the following year, starred in Only Lovers Left Alive (2014).
He then starred in Crimson Peak (2015), the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light (2015) with Elizabeth Olsen, the crime drama mini-series The Night Manager (2016), for which he won a Golden Globe, and the action adventure flick Kong: Skull Island (2017) with Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. In addition, Tom provided the voice of Lord Nooth in the animated comedy Early Man (2018). He also played Loki again in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). He is set to return as Loki in the 2021 Disney series of the same name.
Tom played rugby at Eton and Cambridge, but had to drop out of the sport in order to devote his time and energy to his love of acting when he was cast in the University of Cambridge's production of A Streetcar Named Desire. It was during the run of the play that a prominent agent took notice of Tom and offered to represent him.
In addition to accumulating success on the big screen, Tom's theatre work has repeatedly been praised.