Tom Wilkinson – Full Monty actor dies aged 75

British actor Tom Wilkinson, known for films such as The Full Monty, Shakespeare In Love and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, has died at the age of 75.

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

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

He died suddenly at home with his wife and family, they said in a statement.

George Clooney, who starred as Wilkinson in Michael Clayton’s 2007 legal thriller, praised the actor as “the epitome of elegance”.


Paying tribute, he told Variety magazine: “Tom made every project better. Made every actor better.

“She was the epitome of grace and she will be greatly missed by us all.”

With a total of more than 130 film and TV credits, Wilkinson is at home in period dramas such as 1995’s Sense and Sensibility and 2013’s Belle, as he played a criminal mastermind in films such as Rush Hour with Jackie Chan in 1998, or Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla in 2008. .

He also earned an Emmy for playing US political figure Benjamin Franklin in the 2008 mini-series John Adams and was Emmy-nominated 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.

His death on Saturday was confirmed in a statement shared by his agent on behalf of his family.

Wilkinson, according to the Encyclopaedia of British Film, was “a star of central character, with an extraordinary talent – one of few – for conveying inner pain”.

Robert Carlyle, who starred alongside Wilkinson in The Full Monty, described him, as “a great performer, a truly great actor, one of the greatest not only of his generation, but of any generation.”

In a tribute on

US filmmaker Scott Derrickson said Wilkinson was an “incredible talent” and recalled the moment the actor gave him a surprise kiss on the lips on the set of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Born in Leeds before moving to Canada and then Cornwall as a child, he found his calling at the age of 18 when he was asked to direct a play.

“For the first time in my life, I started doing something I knew how to do,” he said.

“I realized that it wasn’t just people from the southern middle class who could be actors; maybe people like me too. And once I found that out, I never changed my mind.”

He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) before following the long-established path to theater and television work. In 1986, he had his first big screen role in the mini-series First Among Equals, based on Jeffrey Archer’s best-selling novel.

Playing alongside him is Diana Hardcastle. The pair married in 1988, and also played husband and wife in The Kennedys in 2011, and in the 2014 action film Good People. The couple has two daughters, Alice and Molly.