Vale: Tom Wilkinson

Vale: Tom Wilkinson

Esteemed British actor Tom Wilkinson, best known for The Full Monty, Shakespeare In Love and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, has died aged 75.

He died suddenly on Saturday at home with his wife and family.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Tom Wilkinson announce that he died suddenly at home on December 30. His wife and family were with him,” the statement from his family read.

Wilkinson won a Bafta for 1997’s The Full Monty, and reprised the role of Gerald when a Disney+ streaming series revisited the characters 26 years on.

He received six Bafta nominations in total as well as two Oscar nominations, for Michael Clayton and In The Bedroom.

He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before his first major screen role in mini-series First Among Equals, based on Jeffrey Archer’s best-selling novel.

Playing alongside him was Diana Hardcastle. The couple married in 1988, and also went on to play husband and wife in The Kennedys in 2011, and in 2014 action film Good People.

When he portrayed Pecksniff in Martin Chuzzlewit in 1994, Wilkinson said: “I looked at it and I thought, I can’t get it any better than that. It came out exactly as I meant it to come out. It won a couple of prizes and I thought, I can act, there’s no question.”

Three years later, he was cast as a former factory foreman who joins fellow unemployed workmates in staging a strip show in The Full Monty.

With more than 130 film and TV credits in total, Wilkinson was as comfortable in period dramas like 1995’s Sense and Sensibility and 2013’s Belle, as he was playing criminal masterminds in movies like Rush Hour opposite Jackie Chan in 1998, or Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla in 2008.

He also earned an Emmy for playing US political figure Benjamin Franklin in 2008 mini-series John Adams and an Emmy nomination as John F Kennedy’s father Joe in The Kennedys. He played President Lyndon B Johnson in 2014’s Selma, and appeared in The Grand Budapest Hotel and Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Other credits included Michael Clayton, Batman Begins, The Patriot, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Gathering Storm, Black Knight, Valkyrie, The Lone Ranger, Denial and Aussie film Felony.

George Clooney said, “Tom made every project better. Made every actor better. He was the epitome of elegance and he will be dearly missed by all of us.”

Robert Carlyle described him as “a huge performer, a real titan of an actor, one of the greats of not only his, but of any generation.”

Source: BBC