‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Batman Begins’ Actor Tom Wilkinson Dead at 75

The Oscar-nominated actor's sudden death was confirmed in a statement shared by his agent.

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Tom WIlkinson, the British actor best known for his roles in films like The Full Monty, Shakespeare in Love, Batman Begins, and Michael Clayton has died. He was 75 years old.

The Oscar-nominated actor’s death was confirmed in a statement shared by his agent, according to the BBC.

"It is with great sadness that the family of Tom Wilkinson announce that he died suddenly at home on Dec. 30. His wife and family were with him," read the statement. "The family asks for privacy at this time."

Wilkinson was born in 1948 in a rural area of Yorkshire in northern England, before moving to Canada, and then again to Cornwall, England. He took an interest in acting and directing while he served as a member of the drama society at the University of Kent.

Per a self-penned profile on The Times in 2008, the actor confessed that he nor his childhood friends believed he’d ever become a “showbiz guy.”

“I had no clue at all what I was going to do with my life. But that Sixties energy typified by the Beatles opened up a world of possibility to northern working-class kids like myself,” Wilkinson wrote at the time. “No longer were the arts the sole preserve of the southern middle classes.”

After earning a degree at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1973, Wilkinson appeared in a number of British TV shows including Spyship, Miss Marple: A Pocketful of Rye, and First Among Equals.

He married his First Among Equals co-star, Diana Hardcastle, in 1988 and had two daughters, Alice, 34, and Molly, 32.

The actor was offered the lead role in another television series when a fateful opportunity arose to star as Gerald Arthur Cooper in 1997’s The Full Monty, which earned him a BAFTA nomination.

“I took that part instead and the fact that the movie did so well, and unexpectedly so in the US, led to my getting roles in other successful films,” Wilkinson told The Times.

Four years later, Wilkinson earned his first Oscar nomination in the “Best Actor” category for his role as Matt Fowler in the crime drama In the Bedroom. He earned another nomination in 2007 as “Best Supporting Actor” for his work in Michael Clayton. 

Throughout his illustrious career, the critically acclaimed actor took on a number of roles in major films including Rush Hour, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Separate Lies, among others.

The Brit had the unique opportunity to recreate his Full Monty role when Disney+ rebooted the franchise as an eight-episode series that premiered in June.

Wilkinson told The Times in 2008 that his schedule informed the roles he would take on, writing, “These days, and because of the kids, I’m able to say to directors that if they want me in their project, it has to work for me time-wise. The fact is that I’m a homebody. Today, shopping for food, making a chicken stew and taking my dog for a walk is about the extent of the excitement, which suits me just fine.”

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