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Two-time Oscar-nominated actor Tom Wilkinson has died aged 75, his family have announced.

The British film star, best known for playing Gerald Arthur Cooper in the 1997 comedy The Full Monty, died ‘suddenly’ on Saturday. 

He is survived by his actress wife Diana Hardcastle, 74, and their two daughters Alice and Mollie. 

Wilkinson was awarded a Bafta for best supporting actor in The Full Monty which was about a group of redundant steelworkers from Sheffield who decide to set up an all-male striptease act to earn a living.

Across a glittering career spanning nearly 50 years, Wilkinson had more than 130 film and TV credits, including 1998 romcom Shakespeare in Love, Christopher Nolan’s 2005 blockbuster Batman Begins and 2011 action thriller Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. 

His tragic death was confirmed in a statement shared by his agent on behalf of his family. 

Oscar-nominated star Tom Wilkinson who starred in The Full Monty, Batman Begins and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol dies aged 75

Tom Wilkinson was best known for his role in The Full Monty as former steel mill foreman Gerald Cooper (pictured)

Wilkinson is pictured with his actress wife Diana Hardcastle at The Park Theatre in London on July 17, 2017

Wilkinson is pictured with his actress wife Diana Hardcastle at The Park Theatre in London on July 17, 2017

Wilkinson was nominated for Academy Awards for actor in a supporting role for Michael Clayton in 2007. He starred alongside George Clooney

Wilkinson was nominated for Academy Awards for actor in a supporting role for Michael Clayton in 2007. He starred alongside George Clooney

(L-R) Tom Wilkinson, Robert Carlyle, Steve Huison, Hugo Speer, Paul Barber and Mark Addy appear in a scene from The Full Monty

(L-R) Tom Wilkinson, Robert Carlyle, Steve Huison, Hugo Speer, Paul Barber and Mark Addy appear in a scene from The Full Monty

The statement read: ‘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 family asks for privacy at this time.’ 

Wilkinson and his wife tied the knot in 1988 and would go on to play husband and wife in The Kennedys in 2011 and the 2014 film Good People. They had most recently starred alongside one another in the 2020 period drama series Belgravia.

Wilkinson was nominated for six Baftas in total as well as two Oscars for the 2001 drama In The Bedroom, where he played a bereaved father, and Michael Clayton, a 2007 legal thriller starring George Clooney. 

He also won a 2009 Golden Globe and 2008 Emmy for his role as American political figure Benjamin Franklin in HBO series John Adams opposite Paul Giamatti. 

The actor featured in a star-studded cast alongside his wife, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Penelope Walton and Bill Nighy in the 2011 film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

And he most recently reunited with his The Full Monty co-stars, Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy, in a Disney+ series of the same name. 

In the original film, Wilkinson’s character played a critical role in the film as he was recruited to help the unemployed Sheffield men dance ahead of them performing to a Tom Jones version of You Can Leave Your Hat On.

Actor Tom Wilkinson holds his award at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills in 2009. He won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a series, mini-series, or motion picture made for television for his role in "John Adams"

Actor Tom Wilkinson holds his award at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills in 2009. He won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a series, mini-series, or motion picture made for television for his role in ‘John Adams’

In The Full Monty, Wilkinson's character played a critical role in the film as he was recruited to help the unemployed Sheffield men dance ahead of them performing to a Tom Jones version of You Can Leave Your Hat On

In The Full Monty, Wilkinson’s character played a critical role in the film as he was recruited to help the unemployed Sheffield men dance ahead of them performing to a Tom Jones version of You Can Leave Your Hat On

Wilkinson was nominated for an Academy Award for actor in a leading role for In The Bedroom in 2001

Tom Wilkinson is pictured after he collected an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2005

Tom Wilkinson is pictured after he collected an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2005

He most recently reunited with his The Full Monty co-stars, Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy, in a Disney+ series of the same name (pictured)

He most recently reunited with his The Full Monty co-stars, Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy, in a Disney+ series of the same name (pictured)

Tom Wilkinson and his wife Diana arriving for the Orange British Academy Film Awards at the Odeon cinema in London's Leicester Square in 2002

Tom Wilkinson and his wife Diana arriving for the Orange British Academy Film Awards at the Odeon cinema in London’s Leicester Square in 2002

The film won an Oscar for best original musical or comedy score and was nominated for three others, including best picture and best director. 

He was also known for his roles in a BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit, the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense And Sensibility and the 2014 Wes Anderson comedy drama The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Born to farmers in the Yorkshire valley of Wharfedale in 1948, Wilkinson moved to Canada as a young boy but would return to England five years later.

He attended the University of Kent, where he studied English and American literature and developed a passion for acting and directing.

He first appeared on screens in 1976 and would go on to star in several shows, including the 1986 political drama First Among Equals.

But it was his unforgettable role in The Full Monty that saw Wilkinson shoot to fame in 1997. 

He would go on to star in a string of Hollywood films and dramas that further cemented his status as an acting great.

Wilkinson was recognised for his versatility, showcasing his talent across period dramas such as Sense and Sensibility to starring alongside Jackie Chan in Rush Hour.

Across a glittering career spanning nearly 50 years, Wilkinson also starred in Christopher Nolan's 2005 blockbuster Batman Begins (pictured)

Across a glittering career spanning nearly 50 years, Wilkinson also starred in Christopher Nolan’s 2005 blockbuster Batman Begins (pictured)

Christian Bale and Tom Wilkinson at the European Premiere of 'Batman Begins' at the Odeon Leicester Square in 2005

Christian Bale and Tom Wilkinson at the European Premiere of ‘Batman Begins’ at the Odeon Leicester Square in 2005

Tom Wilkinson, Tony Revolori and Owen Wilson star in the 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Tom Wilkinson, Tony Revolori and Owen Wilson star in the 2014 film, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Tom Wilkinson and Judi Dench arriving for the UK premiere of their film 'The Importance of Being Earnest' in 2002

Tom Wilkinson and Judi Dench arriving for the UK premiere of their film ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in 2002

Dame Helen Mirren and actor Tom Wilkinson arrives at the UK premiere of The Debt at The Curzon Mayfair in 2011

Dame Helen Mirren and actor Tom Wilkinson arrives at the UK premiere of The Debt at The Curzon Mayfair in 2011

He also won a 2009 Golden Globe and 2008 Emmy for his role as American political figure Benjamin Franklin in HBO series John Adams opposite Paul Giamatti

He also won a 2009 Golden Globe and 2008 Emmy for his role as American political figure Benjamin Franklin in HBO series John Adams opposite Paul Giamatti

The cast of "The Full Monty" strikes a pose during their arrival for the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards

The cast of ‘The Full Monty’ strikes a pose during their arrival for the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Actor Tom Wilkinson and his wife Diana Hardcastle attend the screening of the new film 'Separate Lies' on September 15, 2005 in New York City

Actor Tom Wilkinson and his wife Diana Hardcastle attend the screening of the new film ‘Separate Lies’ on September 15, 2005 in New York City

But off the screen he enjoyed keeping a low profile, previously admitting: ‘I like to go to Waitrose and not be recognised.’ 

In 2005, the late Queen Elizabeth II awarded Wilkinson with an OBE for services to drama.

Actor Aneurin Barnard, who starred opposite Wilkinson in Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back), said he was ‘very sad’ to hear of his death. 

On X, formerly Twitter, Barnard wrote: ‘I had a very great time getting to know him and working with him. One of our wonderful legends that we say goodbye to. Bye for now Tom x.’ 



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