Tom Wilkinson, ‘The Full Monty’ Star and 2-Time Oscar Nominee, Dies at 75

The British actor appeared in “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

Tom Wilkinson in 2015
Tom Wilkinson in 2015 — Getty Images

Tom Wilkinson, the celebrated British actor who appeared in movies “The Full Monty,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” has passed away at age 75.

“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,” Wilkinson’s family wrote in a statement to the BBC, which first reported the news. “The family asks for privacy at this time.”

Wilkinson was best known for playing Gerald in “The Full Monty,” and reprised his role 26 years later in Disney+’s recent series. The limited series of the same name debuted in June, just months before Wilkinson’s passing.

Wilkinson’s performance in the 1997 “The Full Monty” film earned him a BAFTA for best actor in a supporting role during the 1998 award ceremony. Throughout his acting career, Wilkinson received six BAFTA nominations, including for his performance in films “Shakespeare In Love,” “In The Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton,” as well as his TV roles in “Cold Enough For Snow” and “Martin Chuzzlewit.”

He also scored two Oscar nominations for “In The Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton,” which starred George Clooney.

Born in Leeds, England, Wilkinson’s entrance into acting occurred at age 18, when he was asked to direct a play, leading him to pursue formal acting training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

During his first on-screen role in political adaptation “First Among Equals” in 198, Wilkinson met Diana Hardcastle, who he married in 1988. The pair also played a married couple later in their career in 2011 miniseries “The Kennedys” and again in 2014 action movie “Good People.”

In addition to playing John F. Kennedy’s father Joe in “The Kennedys” — which scored him an Emmy nomination in 2011 — he acted in several political roles, including President Lyndon B. Johnson in 2014 movie “Selma” and Benjamin Franklin in 2008 miniseries “John Adams,” which earned him an Emmy for best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie.

He also scored another Emmy nomination in 2008 for lead actor for his performance in HBO’s “Recount” and was nominated in 2003 for lead actor in HBO’s “Normal.”

Wilkinson can also be seen in “Sense and Sensibility,” “Rush Hour,” “Batman Begins,” “The Patriot,” Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Denial,” among others.

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