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In Appreciation: Tom Wilkinson

Actor Tom Wilkinson, known for his BAFTA-winning role in The Full Monty and Oscar-nominated turns in Michael Clayton and In the Bedroom, died Saturday. He was 75.

Wilkinson was nominated for six BAFTA awards over the course of his career, winning best performance by an actor in a supporting role in 1998 for The Full Monty. His other nods included recognition for Michael Clayton, In the Bedroom and Shakespeare in Love.

In The Full Monty, he played Gerald, a former steel mill foreman who joins his fellow unemployed workers in staging a strip show.

Speaking about getting the part to The Guardian in 2011, Wilkinson recalled how he had been offered both a starring role in a TV show and “a possible part in a low-budget movie.”

“I remember phoning a friend and he said, ‘Take the TV, take the TV‘. But I didn’t follow his advice, and the TV turned out to be crap,” Wilkinson said.

In that same interview, he rejected the idea of stardom coming late, “I’ve always been quite successful. I was a leading performer in stage and getting great roles on television,” he said. “I saw a lot of my friends doing films, and there’s a bit of you that says: ‘I want to sit down with the big boys.’”

For his role in Tony Gilroy’s Clayton, the 2007 drama that starred George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance, Wilkinson received a best supporting actor nod.

“Tom made every project better, made every actor better,” Clooney said of Wilkinson in a statement after his Michael Clayton colleague’s death. “He was the epitome of elegance, and he will be dearly missed by all of us.”

For Todd Field’s 2001 film In the Bedroom, he received a best actor Oscar nomination for his role as a bereaved father.

Wilkinson won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Benjamin Franklin in HBO’s 2008 John Adams miniseries, starring Paul Giamatti as the titular second president of the United States. At both awards shows, he was also nominated for his role as James Baker in another HBO project, the Jay Roach-directed film Recount, about the contentious weeks after the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore and the Florida recount.