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‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Actor Tom Wilkinson Dead at 75



Actor Tom Wilkinson died on Saturday, December 30, his family confirmed. He was 75.

“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,” his family said in a statement to the BBC on Saturday. “The family asks for privacy at this time.”

Wilkinson is survived by wife Diana Hardcastle, also an actor, who he married in 1988. They shared daughters Alice, 34, and Mollie, 31.

The late British actor’s career started with his training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) and started his career in theater. He started working onscreen in the 1970s with appearances on British TV shows and mini series, but Wilkinson received international attention when starred in the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility as Mr. Dashwood opposite Emma Thompson. He went on to balance his career with comedic roles in The Full Monty and Rush Hour while also appearing in prestigious dramas, including The Patriot, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Girl With the Pearl Earring.

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While Wilkinson starred in several Best Picture nominees, he received individual Oscar nominations twice, first in 2002 for Best Actor in a Leading Role for In the Bedroom and then in 2008 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Michael Clayton.

He scored four Emmy nominations, winning one honor in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie category for his 2008 role as Benjamin Franklin in John Adams. The same role also earned him a Golden Globe in same category.

He was also appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama in 2005.

Wilkinson and Hardcastle even got a couple of chances to play married couples. They played real-life duo Joe Kennedy Sr. and wife Rose Kennedy in 2011’s The Kennedys miniseries and then a fictional pair in the 2014 action thriller Good People.

Wilkinson continued working until the end of his life. He reunited with his The Full Monty costars for a six-episode Disney+ mini series earlier this year. He starred opposite Ruby Rose and Sam Heughan in 2021’s SAS: Red Notice. He appeared in Selma, Belgravia, Snowden and The Grand Budapest Hotel in the final decade of his life.

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Director Scott Derrickson was among the filmmakers took to social media to remember Wilkinson on Saturday. He wrote via X (formerly Twitter), “Goodbye Tom Wilkinson, an amazing talent and wonderful human being. Very proud to have worked with him on The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”

He went on to share his favorite memory of the late actor. “When we wrapped The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I went to him to say goodbye. 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…’” Derrickson recalled. “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!’”

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