Born in England in 1996, Tom Holland joined the London production of Billy Elliot the Musical in 2008. He soon found success in film, drawing strong reviews for his performance in The Impossible (2012). Tapped to take over the iconic role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for the big screen, Holland made his debut as the superhero in Captain America: Civil War (2016), before earning the chance to carry his own feature with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
Early Years and 'Billy Elliot'
Thomas Stanley Holland was born on June 1, 1996, in Kingston-upon-Thames, England. The oldest of four boys, he was born into an artistic family: Mom Nicola is a photographer, and dad Dominic is a stand-up comedian and an author.
Holland began attending hip hop dance classes at the Nifty Feet Dance Studio, whose owner, Lynne Page, helped choreograph the hit movie Billy Elliot (2000). After Holland's class performed at the 2006 Richmond Dance Festival, Page was convinced to send her pupil to audition for Billy Elliot the Musical.
With no formal training in ballet or drama, Holland failed to impress most of the talent evaluators at the audition. However, he did impress Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry, who loved Holland's natural performing ability and stage presence.
Following two years of ballet lessons, Holland debuted with the West End production in June 2008 as Billy's best friend, Michael. He soon slid into the starring role, and wowed audiences with his acrobatic ability until his final performance in May 2010.
Breakout Role in 'The Impossible'
Not long after hanging up his dance shoes, Holland was tapped to voice the character of Sho for the British version of the animated The Secret World of Arrietty (2010). However, it was his performance in The Impossible (2012) that firmly established him as one of the industry's promising young talents. Based on a true account of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, Holland shined as an adolescent who tends to his injured mother (Naomi Watts) as he searches for his missing father (Ewan McGregor), garnering an array of award nominations.
Following a turn in the drama How I Live Now (2013), Holland landed a supporting part in the 2015 BBC historical miniseries Wolf Hall. Shortly afterward, his path to global stardom was launched with the announcement that he would take over the role of Peter Parker for the latest reboot of Spider-Man. Unlike his predecessors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, who were in their mid-to-late 20s when tapped for Spidey, the 19-year-old Holland was much closer in age to Peter Parker's troubled high school student turned superhero.
Meanwhile, Holland had other acting obligations to fulfill. The epic In the Heart of the Sea (2015) was a box-office flop, but it provided another showcase for the burgeoning star, as well as the chance to test his mettle amid difficult shooting conditions.
'Spider-Man' and Other Roles
In the spring of 2016, Holland made his debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. Despite limited screen time, he drew strong reviews for his version of the iconic web slinger, ensuring a clearer path forward for his contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Holland went on to star in the dark drama Edge of Winter later that year, and the following spring, he featured prominently in the adventure film The Lost City of Z. However, his most anticipated performance of 2017 undoubtedly came with the summer’s release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the young actor's first chance to carry a blockbuster feature.
Holland has attended the Donhead Preparatory School, Wimbledon College and the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in England. His brother Harry has followed with success in acting, nabbing the part of Prince Harry of Wales for the 2013 drama Diana.
An enthusiastic social media participant, Holland has drawn attention for posts that feature his impressive acrobatic moves and boxing skills, as well as his pit bull, Tessa.
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