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‘The Full Monty’ Star Was 75



Tom Wilkinson, the British actor who appeared in films including “The Full Monty,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” died Saturday in the U.K., the BBC reported. He was 75.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Tom Wilkinson announce that he died suddenly at home on December 30. His wife and family were with him,” the statement from his family to the BBC read.

He won a BAFTA for supporting actor for “The Full Monty,” in which he plays an unemployed steel worker who joins a male striptease dance group who decide to strip completely — “go the full Monty” — in order to make money. Wilkinson reprised his role as Gerald in “The Full Monty” for the recent Disney+ series which revisited the characters 26 years later.

Wilkinson was Oscar-nominated for his roles in “Michael Clayton,” in which he played an attorney who has a manic episode; and Todd Field’s “In the Bedroom,” as the doctor husband to Sissy Spacek’s character.

Variety‘s Todd McCarthy wrote about his “In the Bedroom” role in a 2001 review, saying, “In an about-face from his fine turn as the arrogant Gen. Cornwallis in ‘The Patriot,’ Wilkinson gives enormously sympathetic shadings to Matt, who comes off as an ideal father and quite a good husband, Ruth’s later objections notwithstanding; it’s a large, warm-blooded performance.”

George Clooney, who starred with Wilkinson in the intense 2007 drama “Michael Clayton,” directed by Tony Gilroy, was quick to praise the actor, calling him “the epitome of elegance” and skilled as a thespian.

“Tom made every project better. Made every actor better,” Clooney told Variety. “He was the epitome of elegance and he will be dearly missed by all of us.”

Wilkinson also appeared in films such as “Rush Hour,” in which he played the evil British ambassador, and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” He also had roles in “The Green Hornet,” “Batman Begins,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.”

On television, he played Benjamin Franklin in “John Adams,” James A. Baker in “Recount,” for which he was Emmy-nominated and Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. in “The Kennedys.”

He once again played a historical American in Ava DuVernay’s feature “Selma.”

Born Yorkshire, Wilkinson attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then began acting on TV in programs including “Martin Chuzzlewit,” with a small part in “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995.

Wilkinson is survived by his wife, actor Diana Hardcastle, and two daughters.


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