Batman Begins Actor Tom Wilkinson Has Died

Tom Wilkinson Dead: The Full Monty and Batman Begins actor has died aged 75, his family has announced. 
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures & Alamy

British actor Tom Wilkinson has died, his family has announced. 

Wilkinson was known for his role on stage and screen, having received numerous accolades throughout his career – including a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award.

The Yorkshire-born star was best known for his role in the comedy film The Full Monty, in which he played Gerald Arthur Cooper – the movie follows a group of six unemployed steelworkers from Sheffield on their journey to set up an all-male striptease act.

He also appeared in the Christopher Nolan blockbuster hit Batman Begins alongside Dame Judi Dench, Dame Penelope Wilton, and Bill Nighy.

Sadly, Wilkinson’s family has shared that the actor has passed away aged 75.

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The statement shared by his agent reads: “It is with great sadness that the family of Tom Wilkinson announce that he died suddenly at home on 30 December. His wife and family were with him. The family asks for privacy at this time.”

At the time of writing, Wilkinson’s cause of death hasn’t been disclosed.

Many celebrities have paid tribute to Wilkinson, including actor George Clooney, who said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter): “Tom made every project better, made every actor better. He was the epitome of elegance, and he will be dearly missed by all of us.”

While actor and comedian Michael McKean simply wrote: “A great actor. RIP, Tom Wilkinson.”

The Full Monty (1997)
Tom Wilkinson is best known for his role as Gerald Arthur Cooper in The Full Monty. Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Filmmaker Scott Derrickson, who worked with Wilkinson on The Exorcism of Emily Rose, shared an anecdote from their time working together.

“I went to [Tom Wilkinson] to say goodbye,” he recalled.

“As I went in for a hug, he turned sideways and put one arm around my shoulder. I said, ‘Well that’s a British hug if I’ve ever had one…’. He frowned at me, then grabbed my face and kissed me right on the lips for a good five seconds, then declared loudly, ‘Don’t ever insult British affection or sense of romance! We invented the stuff!'”

Wilkinson, who has an acting career spanning six decades, studied English and American literature at the University of Kent.

Later on, he would go on and train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.

He appeared in numerous British TV shows, most notably starring in the 1986 political drama First Among Equals, based on the Jeffrey Archer novel of the same name.

But his starring role was in The Full Monty, which resulted in stardom and critical acclaim.

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Wilkinson would go on to score a number of high-profile acting credits, including Batman Begins and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In an interview with Fresh Air in 2005, the star attributed his passion and skill in acting to childhood.

As a child, he long believed that he would end up like previous generations and work on his farm. So when his family lost their farm, Wilkinson experienced an identity crisis.

“I think in a certain sense, rootlessness, in that sense, is quite good for an actor,” he said (via NPR).

“It’s not necessarily going to make an actor, but it means they are much more wide-ranging in the things that they will allow themselves to be influenced by, that they’re perhaps not as set in their cultural ways as perhaps they could be if they had that thing which we crudely call a strong sense of themselves.”

Outside of his acting career, Wilkinson married fellow actress Diana Hardcastle in 1988 – they played husband and wife in the 2014 American thriller Good People.

The couple shared two daughters.

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.