Tom Wilkinson Biography

Actor (1948–)
Tom Wilkinson is an acclaimed British actor known for films like The Full Monty, In the Bedroom, Michael Clayton, Duplicity and The Debt.


Born in Leeds, England, on February 5, 1948, Tom Wilkinson forged a successful television and film acting career, eventually starring in the comedy The Full Monty (1997). He's earned acclaim for an array of diverse characters and his body of work includes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Normal (2003), Batman Begins (2005) and John Adams (2008). Wilkinson has also received Academy Award nods for In the Bedroom () and Michael Clayton (2007).

Early Life

Actor Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson was born on February 5, 1948, in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Wilkinson was raised in Canada, Cornwell and Yorkshire. Wilkinson was a restless, lost youth until a concerned headmistress introduced him to the theater. He studied at Kent University before enrolling at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Wilkinson began performing soon after graduation at the Nottingham Playhouse, then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in the early 1980s.

Commercial Success

Though he garnered good reviews on stage, Wilkinson soon switched to film, debuting in 1987's First Among Equals. His breakthrough role came in Ang Lee's lush 1995 period drama Sense and Sensibility followed by a hilarious turn in 1997's The Full Monty, which earned the actor a BAFTA award as well as an international audience. Other notable films include Shakespeare in Loveand The Patriot.

After staying under the Hollywood radar for much of his career, Wilkinson was showered with critical and popular acclaim for his performance in 2001's In the Bedroom. His turn as a doctor coping with an unraveling marriage after the murder of his son earned him his first Academy Award nomination.

Recent Projects

Recent films include The Importance of Being Earnest, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, HBO's The Path to War and Normal, a television project about a Midwestern husband and father who announces his intention to undergo a sex change operation. In 2008, Wilkinson was nominated for his second Academy Award for his performance as a star attorney in the midst of a breakdown in Michael Clayton opposite George Clooney.

Tom Wilkinson and his wife, actress Diana Hardcastle, have two daughters: Alice and Molly.

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