Tom Wilkinson, Oscar-nominated actor known for ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Michael Clayton,’ dies suddenly at 75

Tom Wilkinson, the British actor best known for his roles in “The Full Monty” and “Michael Clayton,” died at home on Saturday surrounded by his loved ones, his family said in a statement shared by his agent. He was 75.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Tom Wilkinson announce that he died suddenly at home on 30 December,” the statement reads in part, according to The Guardian.

His cause of death has not been revealed.

Wilkinson, who began his acting career in the mid-1970s, would only gain international recognition in the late ’90s.

In 1997, the Leeds-born actor starred as Gerald, an unemployed steel worker who becomes part of a male striptease act, in the hit comedy “The Full Monty.”

The globally successful film, directed by Peter Cattaneo, went on to receive four Academy Award nominations — including one for best picture — and earned Wilkinson a coveted BAFTA Award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role.

A reboot of the film featuring several members of the original cast, including Wilkinson, was made into an eight-episode television series, which premiered on FX on Hulu earlier this year.

The breakout success of the 1997 comedy led to a series of memorable — and diverse — roles for the prolific actor, who appeared in more than 130 projects throughout his five-decade career.

Those include the multi-Oscar-winning period film “Shakespeare in Love” in 1998; Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster “Batman Begins” in 2005; and the 2011 comedy “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” in which he starred alongside an all-star British cast, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy.

In 2001, Wilkinson received a best actor Oscar nomination for the family drama “In The Bedroom.” He was nominated for an Oscar a second time in 2007, this time for best supporting actor, for his role in the George Clooney-led “Michael Clayton.”

Tributes to the actor from both fans and fellow thespians began filling up social media timelines Saturday afternoon.

“Very sad news that one of our finest has left us aged 75,” actor Michael Warburton, star of Netflix’s “The Strays” wrote on X. “He was a superlative actor … RIP Sir, legacy assured.

Director and editor Michael McWhorter similarly praised Wilkinson’s “incredible talent.”

“The man had an amazing career full of absolutely incredible performances,” McWhorter said in an Instagram video. “Probably the greatest of which is as the role of Arthur Edens in ‘Michael Clayton.’ If you have never seen ‘Michael Clayton,’ let this be your excuse to do so. … He and his art will be missed.”

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