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Also Known As: Katherine Matilda Swinton Died:
Born: November 5, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor, artist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A luminous actress capable of immersing herself into a vast array of characters, Tilda Swinton succeeded in both art house and mainstream cinema, thanks to her prodigious talent, dedication to art and striking appearance which set her apart from her peers. She began her career as a leading lady of European art cinema, working with directors like Derek Jarman, John Maybury and Sally Potter and earning acclaim as the gender-shifting lead in Potter's Academy Award-nominated "Orlando" (1992). The edgy icon expanded into American filmmaking with an acclaimed performances in "The Deep End" (2001) and experimental outings like "Vanilla Sky" (2001) and "Adaptation" (2002). Despite her art house bent, bigger productions were not immune to her captivating appeal. She achieved international fame despite her adventurous spirit both on- and off-screen. Her alabaster glow and 5'11" stature gave an otherworldly quality to the high profile role of the icy White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe" (2005). She later became an Oscar-winning actress for her performance in the tense legal thriller "Michael Clayton" (2007), while continuing to work steadily in projects obscure and...

A luminous actress capable of immersing herself into a vast array of characters, Tilda Swinton succeeded in both art house and mainstream cinema, thanks to her prodigious talent, dedication to art and striking appearance which set her apart from her peers. She began her career as a leading lady of European art cinema, working with directors like Derek Jarman, John Maybury and Sally Potter and earning acclaim as the gender-shifting lead in Potter's Academy Award-nominated "Orlando" (1992). The edgy icon expanded into American filmmaking with an acclaimed performances in "The Deep End" (2001) and experimental outings like "Vanilla Sky" (2001) and "Adaptation" (2002). Despite her art house bent, bigger productions were not immune to her captivating appeal. She achieved international fame despite her adventurous spirit both on- and off-screen. Her alabaster glow and 5'11" stature gave an otherworldly quality to the high profile role of the icy White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe" (2005). She later became an Oscar-winning actress for her performance in the tense legal thriller "Michael Clayton" (2007), while continuing to work steadily in projects obscure and high-profile alike. Gifted unlike any other actor of her generation, Swinton's career seemed limited only by the scope of her immense creativity.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Hail Caesar (2015)
2.
 Bigger Splash, A (2015)
3.
 Snowpiercer (2014)
4.
7.
 Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
8.
10.
 I Am Love (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Toured Europe with the Cambridge Mummers production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1986:
Film debut, "Caravaggio"; first of seven collaborations with director Derek Jarman
1986:
British TV debut with the Channel 4 miniseries "Zastrozzi: A Romance"
:
Performed onstage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Travers Theater in Edinburgh
1991:
Cast as Queen Isabella in Jarman's "Edward II"
1992:
Recreated her stage role in John Maybury's film version of "Man to Man"; played a woman who assumed her husband's identity
1992:
Breakthrough screen lead in "Orlando," directed by Sally Potter
1993:
Reteamed with Maybury for "Remembrance of Things Fast"
1994:
Final film with Jarman as one of the voices in "Blue"
1995:
Featured in an art installation entitled "The Maybe" in London and Rome, which consisted of her sleeping for eight hours at a time; part of a collaboration with Cornelia Parker
1996:
Co-starred in the controversial drama "Female Perversions"
1997:
Portrayed Ada Byron in "Conceiving Ada"
1998:
Third teaming with Maybury in his feature directorial debut "Love Is the Devil"
1999:
Co-starred in "The War Zone"
2000:
Played Sal, the leader of the beach community in Danny Boyle's feature adaptation of Alex Garland's novel <i>The Beach</i>
2001:
Portrayed a mother who goes to any length to protect her son in "The Deep End"; premiered at Sundance
2001:
Landed featured role as a smooth-talking cryogenics saleswoman in "Vanilla Sky"
2002:
Acted alongside Meryl Streep and Nicolas Cage in "Adaptation"
2003:
Cast opposite Michael Caine in "The Statement"
2004:
Co-starred with Ewan McGregor in the thriller "Young Adam"
2005:
Played as an ex-flame of Bill Murray's in Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers"
2005:
Cast as the White Witch in Andrew Adamson's feature adaptation of C.S. Lewis' <i>The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe</i>
2007:
Portrayed a forensic psychologist in the indie movie "Stephanie Daley"
2007:
Co-starred with George Clooney in Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton"; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Supporting Actress
2008:
Reprised role of the White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
2008:
Joined an ensemble cast for the Coen's brothers' "Burn After Reading"
2008:
Featured in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
2010:
Starred in the drama "Io sono l'amore" ("I Am Love")
2010:
Returned to playing the White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"
2011:
Played the grieving mother of a young man who goes on a high school killing spree in "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
2012:
Cast as a social services worker in Wes Anderson's romantic adventure "Moonrise Kingdom"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

West Heath Girls' School: -
Fettes College: -
Cambridge University: - 1983

Notes

One source gives 1961 as the year of Ms. Swinton's birth while another claims that she was born in London.

"The truth is, I'm not interested in acting whatsoever. It's never interested me. The reason that I, when I first worked as a performer, worked in the theater, was simply that I couldn't find my way in front of a camera soon enough. And the second I found myself on a film set, I knew that that was where I wanted to be. It was not simply because of the caliber of performance available to the camera, and required by the camera, but also the environment of filmmaking and the science of it.

"And the atmosphere and landscape of filmmaking. In such films as 'The Last of England', you cannot possibly describe me as an actor in those films. Because there ain't no acting going on. Those are performances." --Tilda Swinton quoted in The New York Times, August 5, 2001.

"I think the cinema went gravely downhill after people started talking in it. I'm a great believer in silent movies, because, as a performer, your work is always about casting an image." --Tilda Swinton

"For me ['Orlando' and 'Female Perversions'] are bookend projects and explore gender identity, the way in which alienated women find themselves relating to society in general. I feel that something has been completed by them for me." --Swinton quoted in the British edition of Premiere April 1997.

"I'm quite spoiled from having been able to work with a sympathetic community. It's about taking that word, 'creative', and banishing it from your vocabulary. Then replacing it with the word 'receptive'. I don't want to work with anyone 'creative'." --Tilda Swinton

On the death of Derek Jarman and its impact in her life, Swinton told the British edition of IPremiere (April 1997): "There is an impact in literally feeling that I've lost my day job. But there's no doubt about it, and he [Jarman] would be the first to agree with me, that there are so many areas of my existence, my interest, that he didn't share. And there is that mourning thing which does go on for a very long time, I discover. I'm actually a real advocate for bringing back black bombazine [traditional mourning dress], then you move into purple, and then into grey. I wish I'd done it, actually. It's one year for each colour, I think, and I think that's about right. I'm probably moving into the grey."

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Byrne. Writer, artist. Born c. 1940; met in the 1980s.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Sir John Swinton. Military officer. Was major-general in the Scots Guards.
mother:
Judith Swinton.
son:
Xavier Swinton Byrne. Twin; born c. 1997; father, John Byrne.
daughter:
Honor Swinton Byrne. Twin; born c. 1997; father, John Byrne.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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