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Tom Hollander

Tom Hollander
File:Tom Hollander 1.JPG
Hollander in May 2007
Born Thomas Anthony Hollander
(1967-08-25) 25 August 1967 (age 48)
Bristol, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1981–present

Thomas Anthony "Tom" Hollander (born 25 August 1967)[1][2] is an English actor. He began his career in theater, winning the Ian Charleson Award in 1992 for his performance as Witwoud in The Way of the World at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. He is known for his roles in comedic films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride & Prejudice, and In the Loop, and drama films such as Enigma, Gosford Park, and Hanna. He played the lead role in the sitcom Rev., which won the British Academy Television Award for best sitcom in 2011.

Early life

Hollander was born in Bristol, the son of teachers, and was raised in Oxford. His father is descended from Czech-Jews who converted to Catholicism, and his mother is of an English background.[3] He attended the Dragon School and then Abingdon School where he was chief chorister.[4][5] As a youngster, he was a member of the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre (then known as the Children's Music Theatre).[6] In 1981, at the age of 14, he won the lead role in a BBC dramatisation of Leon Garfield's John Diamond.[7]

Hollander read English at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was actively involved in stage productions as a member of the Footlights and president of the Marlowe Society.[8] Friend and fellow student Sam Mendes directed him in several plays while they were at Cambridge, including a critically acclaimed production of Cyrano de Bergerac (which also featured future Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg).[9][10] After finishing university and failing to secure a place at a drama school, he found work in theatre nevertheless.


Hollander won the 1992 Ian Charleson Award for his performance as Witwoud in The Way of the World at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.[11] He had been nominated and commended the previous year for his Celia in an all-male production of As You Like It for Cheek by Jowl,[12] and was again nominated and commended for his Khlestakov in The Government Inspector at the Almeida Theatre in 1997.[13] He had also received a special commendation for his 1996 performance of the title role in Tartuffe at the Almeida Theatre.[14] In all, Hollander has been the most frequent Ian Charleson Award honoree, with four appearances at the awards: one win, two commendations, and one special commendation.

Hollander's film and television appearances include Absolutely Fabulous, Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence, Wives and Daughters, Harry, Cambridge Spies for which he received the FIPA D'OR Grand prize for best actor, Gosford Park, The Lost Prince and Pride & Prejudice for which he received the Evening Standard Film Awards Comedy Award, and London Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor. He has worked repeatedly with Michael Gambon and Bill Nighy and is a good friend of James Purefoy. Although highly respected as a character actor and the recipient of several awards, many of his films will still play on his height (5' 5" / 165 cm). Hollander has created several memorable comedic characters that draw more on his physical energy and intensity than his height, such as the "brilliantly foul-mouthed" Leon in BBC Two's Freezing, described in The Times as a "braying swirl of ego and mania".[15]

Hollander has lent his vocal talents to a number of roles for BBC radio including Mosca in 2004's Volpone for Radio 3, Frank Churchill in Jane Austen's Emma and as Mr Gently Benevolent in the Dickensian parody Bleak Expectations for Radio 4. He has voiced a young Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man"; a disembodied head named Enzio in an urban gothic comedy[16] and Leon Theremin, the Russian inventor famous for the electronic instrument that bears his name. He provided the vocal texture for Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange recently with a "smooth, almost lyrical, crisp voice" that accomplished the task of rendering the extensive and unique slang of the book instantly understandable to readers.[17] More recent readings include "The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling.

Hollander portrayed Lord Cutler Beckett, the "heavy" in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He also appeared in the TNT miniseries The Company as Harold Adrian Russell Kim Philby, having previously played Guy Burgess in the BBC's Cambridge Spies. He returned to the stage in 2007 with the premiere of Joe Penhall's play Landscape with Weapon at the Royal National Theatre. In 2008 he made a notable cameo appearance as King George III in the HBO mini-series John Adams, and ended the year as a memorable Colonel Heinz Brandt in Valkyrie.

In 2009, Hollander played a symphonic cellist in Joe Wright's The Soloist, his second outing for Wright, who cast him to great effect as the fevered suitor Mr. Collins in 2005's Pride and Prejudice. He has worked once more with Wright, portraying a memorably flamboyant and menacing villain in Hanna (2011). Hollander appeared in a lead role in Armando Iannucci's In the Loop as Secretary of State for International Development Simon Foster MP. Hollander later made a surprise appearance (in a different role) at the end of the third series of The Thick of It, the programme on which In the Loop was based.

In 2010 Hollander and writer James Wood co-created the TV series Rev., a sensitive comedy about the all-too-human vicar of an inner-city parish. Reviews called it intelligent, realistic and very funny.[18] Hollander played the sympathetic title character, Rev. Adam Smallbone. The show garnered a BAFTA in 2011 for Best Situation Comedy,[19] among other awards and recognition.[20] A second series aired in the UK on BBC 2 in 2011 and a third series in 2014.[21]

In 2010, Hollander returned to the live stage in a demanding comedic dual role for Georges Feydeau's "A Flea in Her Ear" at the Old Vic. Playing both master and servant with "lightning physical precision and shockingly true confusion",[22] Hollander's was called "a virtuoso performance".[23]

Charity work

Hollander has contributed his running and cycling efforts to several charitable causes, including running to raise funds for the Childline Crisis Hotline in 2006, and in 2007, for the Teenage Cancer Trust.[24][25] He is a long-time supporter of the Helen & Douglas House Hospice for Children and Young Adults in Oxford, which provides hospice care for children, and continues to support charitable organisations by contributing readings and other appearances throughout the year.

Hollander is a patron of the British Independent Film Awards, and has supported the efforts of the Old Vic's "24 Hour Plays New Voices" Gala, which forwards the cause of young writers for the British stage.[24] In August 2014, he was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[26]

Personal life

Hollander lives in Notting Hill, London. He is a cyclist and runner.


Year Film Role Notes
1981 John Diamond William Jones TV film
1993 Sylvia Hates Sam Friend Short
Harry Jonathan TV series (19 episodes: 1993–1995)
1994 Milner Ben Milner TV film
1995 The Bill O'Leary TV series (1 episode: "Getaway")
1996 Some Mother's Son Farnsworth
Absolutely Fabulous Paolo TV series, The Last Shout (2 episodes)
True Blue Sam Peterson
1997 Gobble Pipsqueak TV film
1998 Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely Not! Paolo Video
Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence Daniel
Bedrooms and Hallways Darren
1999 The Clandestine Marriage Sir John Ogelby
Wives and Daughters Osborne Hamley TV mini-series (4 episodes)
2000 The Announcement Ben
Maybe Baby Ewan Proclaimer
2001 Enigma Logie
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Mantalini TV film
Lawless Heart Nick
Gosford Park Anthony Meredith Critics Choice Award – Best Acting Ensemble
FFCC Award for Best Ensemble Cast
OFCS Award – Best Ensemble
PFCS Award – Best Acting Ensemble
Satellite Awards – Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture
2002 Possession Euan
2003 The Lost Prince George V TV film
Cambridge Spies Guy Burgess TV mini-series (4 episodes). Role was awarded FIPA (Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels) D'OR Grand prize for best actor[27]
2004 Piccadilly Jim Willie Partidge
The Hotel in Amsterdam Laurie TV film
London T.S. Eliot TV film
Stage Beauty Sir Peter Lely
Paparazzi Leonard Clarke
The Libertine Etherege Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2005 Bridezillas Narrator TV series (1 episode: "Korliss and Noelle")
Pride & Prejudice Mr. Collins Evening Standard British Film AwardsPeter Sellers Award for Comedy
ALFS Award – British Supporting Actor of the Year
2006 The Darwin Awards Henry
Land of the Blind Maximilian II
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Cutler Beckett
A Good Year Charlie Willis
Rabbit Fever Tod Best
American Dad! Various (voice only) TV series (5 episodes: 2006–2009)
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Cutler Beckett (voice) Video game
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Cutler Beckett
The Company Adrian Philby TV mini-series (6 episodes)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Sir Amyas Paulet
Freezing Leon TV series (3 episodes:2007–2008)
2008 The Meant to Be's TV film
John Adams King George III TV mini-series (1 episode: "Reunion")
Headcases David Cameron TV series
Valkyrie Colonel Heinz Brandt
2009 In the Loop Simon Foster Nominated – British Independent Film AwardsBest Supporting Actor
The Soloist Graham Claydon
Desperate Romantics John Ruskin TV series (6 episodes)
Gracie! Monty Banks TV film
The Thick of It Cal Richards TV series (1 episode: "Episode No.3.8")
2010 Legally Mad Steven Pearle TV film
Rev. The Reverend Adam Smallbone TV series (6 episodes). Series was awarded a BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy, 2011.[19] Hollander was nominated for Male Performance in a Comedy Role. (2010 – present)
Away We Stay[28] Short
Any Human Heart Edward, Duke of Windsor TV series (3 episodes)
2011 Hanna Isaacs
2012 Whole Lotta Sole[29] James Butler Uncredited role
Byzantium Teacher Uncredited role
2013 About Time Harry
2013 Ambassadors Prince Mark TV series (1 episode: "Episode No.2")
2013 The Voorman Problem Voorman Short Film
2014 A Poet in New York Dylan Thomas TV film
2014 The Riot Club Jeremy Villiers
2016 The Night Manager Corcoran Filming; miniseries
2017 Jungle Book: Origins Tabaqui Filming


  1. ^ GreatRun
  2. ^ Ray, Jonathan (13 March 2007). "Good lines and great wines". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (4 November 2011). "Tom Hollander: confessions of a lazy actor". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ "Tom Hollander: "Famous people don't hear the word 'no' enough"". New Statesman. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  5. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (4 November 2011). "Tom Hollander: confessions of a lazy actor". The Guardian (London). 
  6. ^ Programme, Landscape with Weapon
  7. ^ Fox, Chloe (3 April 2009). "Tom Hollander interview: on 'In the Loop'". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Cambridge University Marlowe Dramatic Society". 
  9. ^ "Great British Hopes". The Times. 20 April 1996. 
  10. ^ Lusher, Tim (22 July 2010). "Tom Hollander: meet the Rev". The Guardian (London). 
  11. ^ "Prized Performances". The Sunday Times. 21 February 1993. 
  12. ^ "Glittering Prize". The Sunday Times. 20 April 1997. 
  13. ^ "Ian Charleson Award". The Sunday Times. 5 April 1998. 
  14. ^ Wright, Michael. "Old guard, young guns". Sunday Times. 4 May 1997
  15. ^ "Cold comfort in Medialand". London: The Times. 21 February 2008. 
  16. ^ "The Madness Of Grief". 1996-10-29. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  17. ^ "Audio Reviews: A Clockwork Orange". Publishers Weekly. Week of 30 July 2007.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Fraser, Giles (27 June 2010). "Dearly beloved: Get on your knees and avoid the fees". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  19. ^ a b "Television Awards Winners in 2011 - TV Awards - Television - The BAFTA site". 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  20. ^ BBC
  21. ^ Clarke, Steve (31 July 2012). "Hulu sitcom 'Rev' reupped". Variety (London). 
  22. ^ Benedict, David (16 December 2010). > "A Flea in Her Ear". Variety (London). 
  23. ^ Craig, Zoe (17 December 2010). "Theatre Review: A Flea In Her Ear @ The Old Vic". Londonist (London). 
  24. ^ a b "Tom Hollander - Etc". Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  25. ^ "Fundraisers — As a fundraiser — Teenage Cancer Trust". Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  26. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  27. ^ [1][dead link]
  28. ^ W London - Leicester Square (2010-11-08). "Away We Stay - W London Leicester Square Premiere". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  29. ^ Whole Lotta Sole

External links

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