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|Also Known As:||Thomas Jeffery Wilkinson Jr.||Died:|
|Born:||December 12, 1948||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Leeds, England, GB||Profession:||actor|
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the shift from having men play women's roles and is impressed by the stage's first female actress (Claire Danes). Wilkinson followed with a brief, but deft turn as the corrupt Gotham City crime boss Carmine Falcone in the hugely popular reboot of the Dark Knight's film franchise "Batman Begins" (2005). His next role was as Father Moore, the priest who performed the controversial exorcism that resulted in the death of a young girl in the character-driven thriller "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (2005).Following a supporting role in "The Last Kiss" (2006), a coming-of-age drama about a group of thirty-somethings struggling to adapt to adulthood while their parents cope with middle age, Wilkinson played the illustrator for and only friend of a misanthropic children's author (Billy Crudup) in the low-budget dark romantic comedy, "Dedication" (2007). In "Michael Clayton" (2007), he played the star attorney at a top corporate law firm in New York who suffers a sudden breakdown and tries to sabotage a substantial, but ultimately questionable case, calling for the firm's in-house fixer (George Clooney) to solve the problem despite his conflicted conscience. Wilkinson's dynamic and realistic performance echoed...
the shift from having men play women's roles and is impressed by the stage's first female actress (Claire Danes). Wilkinson followed with a brief, but deft turn as the corrupt Gotham City crime boss Carmine Falcone in the hugely popular reboot of the Dark Knight's film franchise "Batman Begins" (2005). His next role was as Father Moore, the priest who performed the controversial exorcism that resulted in the death of a young girl in the character-driven thriller "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (2005).
Following a supporting role in "The Last Kiss" (2006), a coming-of-age drama about a group of thirty-somethings struggling to adapt to adulthood while their parents cope with middle age, Wilkinson played the illustrator for and only friend of a misanthropic children's author (Billy Crudup) in the low-budget dark romantic comedy, "Dedication" (2007). In "Michael Clayton" (2007), he played the star attorney at a top corporate law firm in New York who suffers a sudden breakdown and tries to sabotage a substantial, but ultimately questionable case, calling for the firm's in-house fixer (George Clooney) to solve the problem despite his conflicted conscience. Wilkinson's dynamic and realistic performance echoed Howard Beal's delusional ranting in "Network" (1976), leading to wide critical praise and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. He was also honored with a nod from the Academy, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Wilkinson continued delivering well-crafted performances the following year. He portrayed American patriot and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin in the seven-part miniseries "John Adams" (HBO, 2008), then played James Baker, chief legal advisor for George W. Bush, in the TV-movie "Recount" (HBO, 2008). He won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV movie for his work in the former. Following a co-starring turn opposite Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in Tony Gilroy's "Duplicity" (2009), he delivered yet another award-worthy performance on "A Number" (BBC2, 2009), in which he played a father who is confronted by the twin sons (Rhys Ifans) that he cloned decades before. For his work on the latter, he earned a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. After playing a Harvard Law professor and suspected CIA agent in the Roman Polanski thriller "The Ghost Writer" (2010), he portrayed a Mossad agent in the acclaimed espionage thriller "The Debt" (2011), starring Helen Mirren, CiarÃ¡n Hinds and Sam Worthington.
Wilkinson portrayed Kennedy clan patriarch Joe Kennedy in the controversial miniseries "The Kennedys" (ReelzChannel, 2011). Because the series was written and directed by an unabashed conservative, critics heaped scorn on the project for historical inaccuracies and unflattering portrayals even before a single frame was shot. Once the miniseries was finished, however, original broadcaster The History Channel refused to air it amidst rumors that the Kennedy family put pressure on the network. Several major cable outlets declined to purchase the rights until up-and-coming network ReelzChannel snagged the film. Though the final product did contain a number of historical issues, the performances were top notch and the content itself was far from the political hit job some expected. For his performance, Wilkinson earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. Meanwhile, the actor co-starred opposite Robin Wright and Evan Rachel Wood in Robert Redfordâ¿¿s conspiracy drama, "The Conspirator" (2011), while playing the stern, wealthy publishing father of a 28-year-old neâ¿¿er-do-well (Seth Rogen) who becomes a masked crime fighter in "The Green Hornet" (2011). After playing a former Mossad agent in the espionage thriller "The Debt" (2011), Wilkenson had a cameo as an IMF secretary in the hit sequel "Missoin: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (2011).
By Shawn Dwyernson was an older priest carrying on a clandestine love affair with his housekeeper in the controversial drama, "Priest." Following his turn as Mr. Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility," Wilkinson had a villainous turn as the brutal head of an African engineering project in "The Ghost and the Darkness" (1996). Wilkinson followed his BAFTA award-winning turn as the reluctant choreographer of a motley crew of male strippers in "The Full Monty." Wilkinson played the crew's choreographer whose taste in dancing falls more on the side of ballroom than exotic.
After an excellent turn as the nefarious Marquess of Queensberry in the biopic "Wilde" (1997), Wilkinson had a rare romantic lead in the period drama "The Governess" (1998), for which he actually went the full monty. He played a 19th-century inventor who starts an affair with his home's caretaker (Minnie Driver) only to later steal her ideas for photography. Continuing to make a name for himself, Wilkinson delivered a fine comic turn as a moneylender-turned-theater producer in the Oscar-winning "Shakespeare in Love" (1998). After reuniting with Ang Lee for a small role in "Ride With the Devil" (1999), Wilkinson was the model of restraint as General Cornwallis in "The Patriot" (2000), a Revolutionary War epic about a peace-loving patriot (Mel Gibson) who seeks revenge against the British for murdering his son. Meanwhile, he returned to the London stage for his first major role in more than a decade starring opposite Julia Ormond in David Hare's "My Zinc Bed," a look at love, loss and addiction through the eyes of a young, but idealistic alcoholic.
Back on the big screen, Wilkinson gave the performance of a lifetime playing a Maine doctor struggling with grief and subsequently disintegrating marriage after the murder of his son in the chamber drama, "In the Bedroom" (2001). Actor Todd Field's directorial debut was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was rapturously received, with Wilkinson and co-star Sissy Spacek cited with a Special Jury Prize for their raw, nuanced performances. Even that early in the year, the buzz for their work was so high, it sparked speculation of end-of-the-year critic prizes and possible recognition from the Academy, who duly noted the actor's work and included him on the list of Best Actor Oscar nominees. Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, Wilkinson took a couple steps down by appearing in the Martin Lawrence comedy "Black Knight" (2001), which reduced him to playing a drunken, down-on-his-luck knight.
He fared much better in his next outings, first as Dr. Chausible in the remake of Oscar Wilde's superior comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest" (2002), and then as Sir Robert Vansittart in the acclaimed HBO telepic, "The Path to War" (2002). Wilkinson's next television role was as critical to his career as his Oscar-nominated turn in "In The Bedroom." In writer-director Jane Anderson's "Normal" (2003), Wilkinson delivered a painfully real performance as Roy Applewood, a Midwestern husband and father who sends his family and friends into a tailspin when he announces his intention to undergo a sex change operation, although his shocked wife (Jessica Lange) attempts to support his decision. His performance earned Wilkinson a wealth of critical accolades, including Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
Next up was a turn as the artist Johannes Vermeer's (Colin Firth) wealthy patron Van Ruijven, who has an appetite for paintings of the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" (2003). Effortlessly turning on a convincing American accent, Wilkins delivered yet another subtle and nuanced performance in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004) as a doctor who administers a memory-erasing procedure to remove a failed romance from the mind of a heartbroken patient (Jim Carrey). Back across the pond, he appeared in "Stage Beauty" (2004) as London theater owner Thomas Betterton, who embraces
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"You should strike while the iron's at least tepid. I think one of the things that held me back is that I never have enough confidence in my ability. I was always very grateful when people gave me jobs. But now I'm not grateful ... I am grateful, but I don't think I should go on my hands and knees and thank them. Just in the last few years, things have come together, and you get a certain amount of recognition and I, foolishly, had to wait for that, until I felt 'I'm good at this.'" --Tom Wilkinson quoted in the London Times, March 21, 1998.
About his role in "Rush Hour" (1998), Wilkinson told a Canadian newspaper (January 1, 1999): "I thought it would be the end of my career but I took the part anyway so I could at least say I'd done an American film."
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