Tom Hollander

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Tom Hollander
Tom Hollander 1.JPG
Tom Hollander, May 2007
BornThomas Anthony Hollander
(1967-08-25) 25 August 1967 (age 46)[1][2]
Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Alma materAbingdon School
Selwyn College, Cambridge
Years active1981–present
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Tom Hollander
Tom Hollander 1.JPG
Tom Hollander, May 2007
BornThomas Anthony Hollander
(1967-08-25) 25 August 1967 (age 46)[1][2]
Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Alma materAbingdon School
Selwyn College, Cambridge
Years active1981–present

Thomas Anthony "Tom" Hollander (born 25 August 1967) is an English actor who has appeared in the films Enigma, Gosford Park, Pride & Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean, In the Loop, Valkyrie and Hanna.

Early life[edit]

Tom Hollander was born in Bristol and brought up in Oxford, the son of teachers. His father is descended from Czech Jews who converted to Catholicism, and his mother is of English background.[3] He attended the Dragon School and then Abingdon School where he was chief chorister.[4][5]

As a youngster, Hollander was a member of the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre[6] (then known as the Children's Music Theatre). In 1981, at fourteen years of age, he was awarded the lead role in a BBC dramatisation of Leon Garfield's John Diamond.[7] He 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 in The Way of the World at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.[11] He had been nominated the previous year,[12] and was again nominated for his performances in The Government Inspector in 1997.[13]

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".[14]

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[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] Hollander played the sympathetic title character, Rev. Adam Smallbone. The show garnered a BAFTA in 2011 for Best Situation Comedy,[18] among other awards and recognition.[19] A second series aired in the UK on BBC 2 in 2011 and a third series in 2014.[20]

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",[21] Hollander's was called "a virtuoso performance".[22]

Personal life[edit]

Hollander is a cyclist and runner who has contributed his 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.[23][24] 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.

He 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.[23]

Hollander lives in Notting Hill, London.


1981John DiamondWilliam JonesTV film
1993Sylvia Hates SamFriendShort
HarryJonathanTV series (19 episodes: 1993–1995)
1994MilnerBen MilnerTV film
1995The BillO'LearyTV series (1 episode: "Getaway")
1996Some Mother's SonFarnsworth
Absolutely FabulousPaoloTV series, The Last Shout (2 episodes)
True BlueSam Peterson
1997GobblePipsqueakTV film
1998Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely Not!PaoloVideo
Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and LaurenceDaniel
Bedrooms and HallwaysDarren
1999The Clandestine MarriageSir John Ogelby
Wives and DaughtersOsborne HamleyTV mini-series (4 episodes)
2000The AnnouncementBen
Maybe BabyEwan Proclaimer
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas NicklebyMr. MantaliniTV film
Lawless HeartNick
Gosford ParkAnthony MeredithCritics 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
2003The Lost PrinceGeorge VTV film
Cambridge SpiesGuy BurgessTV mini-series (4 episodes). Role was awarded FIPA (Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels) D'OR Grand prize for best actor[25]
2004Piccadilly JimWillie Partidge
The Hotel in AmsterdamLaurieTV film
LondonT.S. EliotTV film
Stage BeautySir Peter Lely
PaparazziLeonard Clarke
The LibertineEtheregeNominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2005BridezillasNarratorTV series (1 episode: "Korliss and Noelle")
Pride & PrejudiceMr. CollinsEvening Standard British Film AwardsPeter Sellers Award for Comedy
ALFS Award – British Supporting Actor of the Year
2006The Darwin AwardsHenry
Land of the BlindMaximilian II
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestCutler Beckett
A Good YearCharlie Willis
Rabbit FeverTod Best
American Dad!Various (voice only)TV series (5 episodes: 2006–2009)
2007Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndCutler Beckett (voice)Video game
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndCutler Beckett
The CompanyAdrian PhilbyTV mini-series (6 episodes)
Elizabeth: The Golden AgeSir Amyas Paulet
FreezingLeonTV series (3 episodes:2007–2008)
2008The Meant to Be'sTV film
John AdamsKing George IIITV mini-series (1 episode: "Reunion")
HeadcasesDavid CameronTV series
ValkyrieColonel Heinz Brandt
2009In the LoopSimon FosterNominated – British Independent Film AwardsBest Supporting Actor
The SoloistGraham Claydon
Desperate RomanticsJohn RuskinTV series (6 episodes)
Gracie!Monty BanksTV film
The Thick of ItCal RichardsTV series (1 episode: "Episode No.3.8")
2010Legally MadSteven PearleTV film
Rev.The Reverend Adam SmallboneTV series (6 episodes). Series was awarded a BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy, 2011.[18] Hollander was nominated for Male Performance in a Comedy Role. (2010–Present)
Away We Stay[26]Short
Any Human HeartEdward, Duke of WindsorTV series (3 episodes)
2012Whole Lotta Sole[27]James ButlerUncredited role
ByzantiumTeacherUncredited role
2013About TimeHarry
2013AmbassadorsPrince MarkTV series (1 episode: "Episode No.2")
2013The Voorman Problem"VoormanShort Film
2014A Poet in New YorkDylan ThomasTV film


  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. ^
  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. ^ "Cold comfort in Medialand". London: The Times. 21 February 2008. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Audio Reviews: A Clockwork Orange". Publishers Weekly. Week of 30 July 2007. 
  17. ^ Fraser, Giles (27 June 2010). "Dearly beloved: Get on your knees and avoid the fees". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  18. ^ a b,1766,BA.html#jump19
  19. ^ BBC
  20. ^ Clarke, Steve (31 July 2012). "Hulu sitcom 'Rev' reupped". Variety (London). 
  21. ^ Benedict, David (16 December 2010). > "A Flea in Her Ear". Variety (London). 
  22. ^ Craig, Zoe (17 December 2010). "Theatre Review: A Flea In Her Ear @ The Old Vic". Londonist (London). 
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Whole Lotta Sole

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