As we head into 2024, we think about how to make the upcoming year our best yet. We also look back at the memories we have had over the past year — the good and the bad. We look at who we have loved and who we have lost. This year came with some very big celebrity losses, including Friends star Matthew Perry, singer Tony Bennett, Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers, singer Tina Turner, and so many more.
And sadly, we have another name to add to that add to that list.
On Saturday, December 30, beloved British actor Tom Wilkinson died at the age of 75. According to a statement from the actor’s family, Wilkinson died “suddenly” while he was with them.
“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.”
Tom Wilkinson was born on February 5, 1948, in Wharfedale, West Riding of Yorkshire. He caught the acting bug while attending the University of Kent at Canterbury and, after graduating, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He graduated from the Royal Academy in 1973 and got his first role two years later.
Wilkinson has nearly 130 acting credits to his name, but he is probably most well-known for his role as Gerald in the 1997 film, The Full Monty. That role made Wilkinson a household name. The film became a cult classic and, in 2023, Disney rebooted the film and made it into a series for its streaming service, Disney+.
In 2005, Wilkinson was given one of the highest honors a British citizen can receive — he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Wilkinson reprised his role as Gerald — the man who helped a group of unemployed steelworkers how to dance. In the series, Robert Carlyle returned as Gaz, Mark Addy reprised his role as Dave, Paul Barber returned as Horse, and Steve Huison was back as Lomper. Lesley sharp also returned for the new series to reprise her role as Jean.
Throughout his storied career, Wilkinson received many award nominations and numerous wins. He won an Emmy for his role as Benjamin Franklin in the 2008 HBO series, John Adams. He also won a Golden Globe for the same role. In 1998, he won a Screen Actors Guild award for playing Hugh Fennyman in Shakespeare in Love (1997). He also won a SAG award for his role in The Full Monty.
Mr. Wilkinson leaves behind his wife, Diana Hardcastle, and their two children, Alice and Molly.
We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tom Wilkinson.