April 16, 2024

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Tom Wilkinson, actor of The Full Monty, dies at the age of 75

Tom Wilkinson, actor of The Full Monty, dies at the age of 75

Tom Wilkinson, the actor who can transform an obsessive lawyer, a steel foreman into a stripper, and cut big and small parts into charming roles, has won Oscar nominations and plaudits for his performances in films like “Michael Clayton” and “The Full Monty.” “He died on Saturday. He was 75 years old.

Statement from his agent He said he died suddenly at home. No other details were provided.

Mr. Wilkinson's range seems to know no bounds.

He received Academy Award nominations for his work in “In the Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton” and has delighted audiences in comedies such as “The Full Monty” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

He appeared in such blockbuster films as Shakespeare in Love and Batman Begins, took on horror in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, history as Benjamin Franklin in the HBO series John Adams, and memory in Sunshine. Eternal sun. Clean mind.”

He often didn't have the name recognition or sheer star power of the actors he played opposite, who included George Clooney, Sissy Spacek and Ben Affleck. But it's a drawing Critical acclaim through decades of work in television, film and on stage.

“I see myself as a utility player, the person who can do it all,” he told the New York Times in 2002. “I've always felt that actors should have a degree of anonymity.”

However, for many Brits, “The Full Monty” remains his favorite performance, in which he plays a tough, unemployed steelworker in Sheffield, England, who plans to earn some money and repair their self-esteem by starting a strip show for the town.

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Mr. Wilkinson played Gerald Cooper, an elderly former foreman who joins the cadre in part to escape the decorative gnomes his wife has set up on the lawn.

But his range extended beyond comedy, and he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Todd Field's In the Bedroom.

Opposite Ms. Spacek, Mr. Wilkinson played one half of a Maine couple struggling in the wake of their son's murder. Mr. Field said he was attracted to Mr. Wilkinson because of his quality of getting along with everyone.

“You wouldn't normally think Robert Redford would live next door,” Mr. Field told The Times. “But you'd think Tom Wilkinson could live next door. That's the difference.”

A few years later, Mr. Wilkinson won acclaim again as a high-powered lawyer who had a meltdown in Tony Gilroy's “Michael Clayton.” He was nominated for another Academy Award for his performance in this film.

By then, Mr. Wilkinson had worked for three decades in theatre, television and film.

Born in Yorkshire, England, on February 5, 1948, his parents moved to Canada when he was four, looking for better work than farming. Their stay lasted only six years, during which his father worked as an aluminum smelter. The family returned to Britain, where Mr Wilkinson's parents ran a pub in Cornwall until his father's death, prompting Mr Wilkinson and his mother to return to Yorkshire.

No information was immediately available about survivors.

Mr Wilkinson said his life took a sharp turn when he was 16, at King James Grammar School in Knaresborough, where “the headmistresses simply decided they would make something of me”.

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This “means inviting her to visit her home, teaching her how to eat, and which knives and forks should arrive first,” he said.

“We'll go to the theater together,” he said. “After wandering aimlessly around school, suddenly someone took an interest in me.”

But he said he wasn't drawn to acting until he arrived at the University of Canterbury in 1967. After graduating from university, he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where he discovered it was possible for “working-class kids from the provinces” to open art galleries, manage rock bands, And to become designers, and to become actors.

“All the things that weren't great became great,” he said. “I saw the country bohemian guy and thought, 'This role could be for me. I'll be in the arts. You can have a life in the arts. Why not?'