Wednesday, April 24, 2024

RIP Beloved Actor Tom Wilkinson, 75, 2 Time Oscar Nominee, Starred in “Shakespeare in Love,” “In the Bedroom,” “Full Monty”


Tom Wilkinson — one of the nicest and most talented actors ever — has died suddenly at age 75. He was nominated for Oscars twice, won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, as well as the Independent Spirit Award, “In the Bedroom.” I knew him pretty well for a long time, and will miss him very much. He brought a sense of nobility and grace to every role he played.

His Oscar nominations were for “In the Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton.” Wilkinson made a splash in the US in “Shakespeare in Love” in 1997, his career took, and he never looked back. Earlier that same year, he was also a star of “The Full Monty,” a huge box office hit. His other films included “Sense and Sensibility” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

At one point, Tom was working so much that I congratulated him for some film I said he’d been in. “I wasn’t in that,” he replied, laughing. I said, “You’ve been in so many lately, I thought I saw you.” That might have been around the time he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Benjamin Franklin in the “John Adams” miniseries on HBO.

I’ll never forget the year Tom was nominated for “In the Bedroom.” I was standing in front of the Four Seasons Hotel on Doheny waiting for my car when he and his wife pulled up in a taxi to check in. The place was buzzing, there were no porters around, and the cab just sort of dumped them before arriving at the front door. I noticed them, and wound up getting a cart and helping them into the hotel. We always used to laugh about it later.

What a shame he’s gone. Condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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