British actor Tom Wilkinson, known for ‘The Full Monty,’ dies at 75

Two time Oscar-nominated British actor Tom Wilkinson has died at the age of 75. His agent announced the actor died suddenly at home on December 30 while surrounded by his wife and family. Mr. Wilkinson was best known for his character Gerald Arthur Cooper in the 1997 comedy The Full Monty for which he received a  BAFTA Award.

Tom Wilkinson Short Biography

Popular British character actor Tom Wilkinson was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and hails from a long line of urban farmers. He is the son of Marjorie Percival and Thomas Wilkinson. Economic hardships forced his family to move to Canada for a few years when Wilkinson was a child. After returning to England, he attended and graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury with a degree in English and American Literature.

Wilkinson first became active in film and television in the mid-1970s but did not become familiar to an international audience until 1997. That was when he starred as one of six unemployed workers who stripped for cash in the Best Picture nominee “The Full Monty” (1997). He went on to win a BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. That same year, he was featured in “Oscar and Lucinda” (1997) and “Wilde” (1997).

Wilkinson was also shown to memorable effect as a theater financier with acting aspirations in the Best Picture winner “Shakespeare in Love” (1998). Over the next few years, Wilkinson would become more popular, especially with American audiences, with such roles as General Cornwallis alongside Mel Gibson in the blockbuster “The Patriot” (2000) and as the grief-stricken father, Matt Fowler, in the critically acclaimed Best Picture nominee “In the Bedroom.”

For his role in that movie, he received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Since then, Wilkinson has made memorable appearances in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” (2005), “Valkyrie” (2008), “Duplicity” (2009), “The Ghost Writer” (2010), “The Debt” (2010), and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (2011), among others.

Wilkinson also received his second Academy Award nomination for his acclaimed role in “Michael Clayton” (2007). Wilkinson won an Emmy Award for his work as Benjamin Franklin in HBO’s “John Adams” (2008) miniseries. In the same year, he received an Emmy nomination for his role in the HBO movie “Recount” (2008) and has also received Emmy nominations for “Normal” (2003) and “The Kennedys” (2011).