Born: 5 February 1948
Birthplace: Leeds, United Kingdom
Best known as: The Oscar-nominated Brit from In The Bedroom and Michael Clayton
Tom Wilkinson is an English character actor of stage and screen, known especially for his Oscar-nominated performances in the dramas In The Bedroom (2001, opposite Sissy Spacek) and Michael Clayton (2007, starring George Clooney). A familiar face on British television since the 1980s, and popular for his performance in the 1994 mini-series Martin Chuzzlewit, Wilkinson broke through on the big screen in the 1997 comedy The Full Monty, as the oldest of the mates who strip for cash. That led to plum roles in Hollywood features such as Shakespeare in Love (1998, starring Gwyneth Paltrow) and Rush Hour (1998, starring Jackie Chan), setting up a pattern that Wilkinson has followed ever since: appearing in quality dramas as well as popcorn entertainments. His portrayal of an American dad in In The Bedroom brought his first Oscar nomination, as well as a reputation for sturdy, emotionally-charged performances. His turn as a truth-telling lawyer overcome with madness in Michael Clayton earned another Oscar nomination in 2008. That same year he played Benjamin Franklin in the cable mini-series John Adams and won an Emmy. Wilkinson's other high profile roles include playing a man who lives as a woman in Normal (2003); as Batman foe Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins (2005, starring Christian Bale); as an evil corporate boss in Duplicity (2009, starring Julia Roberts); as an aging spy in The Debt (2010, starring Helen Mirren); and as Joe Kennedy, Sr. in the 2011 mini-series The Kennedys.
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