Tom Hollander

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Tom Hollander
Tom Hollander 2017.jpg
Hollander in 2017
Thomas Anthony Hollander

(1967-08-25) 25 August 1967 (age 54)
EducationSelwyn College, Cambridge
Years active1981–present

Thomas Anthony Hollander (/ˈhɒləndər/; born 25 August 1967)[1][2] is an English actor. He began his career in theatre, 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 role in About Time, and in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and In the Loop and drama films such as Enigma, Pride & Prejudice, Gosford Park, and Hanna, additionally portraying George V in The Lost Prince and The King's Man. He co-wrote and played the lead role in the sitcom Rev., which won the British Academy Television Award for best sitcom in 2011. He also played the lead in the ITV's Doctor Thorne and won[3] the BAFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Major Lance "Corky" Corkoran in the BBC series The Night Manager.

He appeared as Henry Carr in a revival of Tom Stoppard's play Travesties at the Menier Chocolate Factory directed by Patrick Marber, later transferring to the Apollo Theatre in London on the West End and to the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.[4] Hollander was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor and Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in Travesties.[5] Hollander appears as Dr Sorgh in the film Tulip Fever which was released in September 2017. The screenplay, also by Stoppard, is an adaptation of Deborah Moggach's historical novel. He also appears as Garin in Terry George's historical drama The Promise, his third collaboration with George, who also directed him in Some Mother's Son and Whole Lotta Sole.

In January 2016, he became an Honorary Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge (his alma mater).[6][7][8]

Early life[edit]

Hollander was born in Bristol, the son of teachers, and was raised in Oxford. Hollander's father is a Czech Jew whose family converted to Catholicism,[9] and his mother is English; Hollander was brought up as a Christian. The family background was academic and musical – his grandfather, Hans Hollander, was a musicologist who wrote books about the composer Janáček.[10] Hollander's parents were teachers, his father running the science department at a prestigious school in Oxford.[11] He attended the Dragon School and then Abingdon School, where he was chief chorister.[12][11] 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).[13] In 1981, at the age of 14, he won the lead role in a BBC dramatisation of Leon Garfield's John Diamond.[14]

Hollander read English at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was actively involved in stage productions as a member of the Footlights and was president of the Marlowe Society.[15] Sam Mendes, a friend and fellow student, 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).[16][17]


Film and television work[edit]

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".[18]

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 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 movie The Soloist, his second film with 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.[19] Hollander played the sympathetic title character, Rev. Adam Smallbone. The show won a BAFTA in 2011 for Best Situation Comedy,[20] among other awards and recognition.[21] A second series aired in the UK on BBC 2 in 2011 and a third series in 2014.[22] He has been praised for his role as the "inebriated and endearing, menacing and beguiling"[23] chemist, Dr George Cholmondeley, appearing in five episodes of the BBC / FX 2017 series Taboo with one commenter describing him as "giving a masterclass on how to create dimension and personality, even with limited screen time."[24]

Hollander played Queen's second manager Jim Beach in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which was released in November 2018.[25] Upon the firing of director Bryan Singer from the film in December 2017, it was reported Hollander very nearly quit the film due to issues with Singer, but was ultimately convinced to see it through.[26] Also in 2018, Hollander played Tabaqui, a hyena in Andy Serkis' motion capture film Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.[27]


Hollander won the 1992 Ian Charleson Award for his performance as Witwoud in The Way of the World at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.[28] 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[29] and was again nominated and commended for his Khlestakov in The Government Inspector at the Almeida Theatre in 1997.[30] He had also received a special commendation for his 1996 performance of the title role in Tartuffe at the Almeida Theatre.[31] 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.

In 2010, Hollander returned to the live stage in a demanding comedic dual role in 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",[32] Hollander's was called "a virtuoso performance".[33] Between September and November 2016 he starred as (a "career-best"[34]) Henry Carr in Patrick Marber's "superb revival"[35] of Tom Stoppard's Travesties at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The play (with the same cast) transferred to the Apollo Theatre in February 2017[4] and was nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best Actor (Hollander) and Best Revival (Travesties).[5] Marber's revival transferred to Broadway in 2018, with Hollander reprising his leading role as Carr. The play opened on 24 April 2018 (previews 29 March) at the Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theater in New York. Hollander received a Tony Award nomination for the production.[36][37]

Voice work[edit]

Hollander has undertaken a number of voice 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 pilot of the Dickensian parody Bleak Expectations for Radio 4, although he did not take part in the full series. He has voiced a young Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man", a disembodied head named Enzio in an urban gothic comedy[38] 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.[39] More recent readings include The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. In 2015 (repeated in April 2017) he played Patrick Moore in the BBC radio play Far Side of the Moore about the astronomer and his Sky at Night TV programme.[40] In May 2016 he portrayed Geoff Cathcart in Andy Mulligan's four-part play School Drama on BBC Radio 4 which was chosen by The Guardian as that week's best radio[41] and he narrated Peter Bradshaw's short story Reunion, broadcast on Radio 4 in October 2016.[42][43] He has also portrayed the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich in Margy Kinmonth's documentary Revolution: New Art for a New World which was released in the UK and Ireland in November 2016.[44]

Year Audiobook title Author Notes
2006 In the Company of the Courtesan Sarah Dunant
2009 The Lieutenant Kate Grenville
Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Geraint Anderson
2010 A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
2012 The Casual Vacancy J. K. Rowling
Conrad: The Chrestomanci Series Diana Wynne Jones
2016 Agatha Christie: Twelve Radio Mysteries Agatha Christie Hollander is one of several narrators
2017 A Legacy of Spies John le Carré digital download released on 7 September 2017, CD on 5 October 2017.[45]


Since 2008, he has written an occasional diary-style column for The Spectator,[46] and a lifestyle article in the Times which received very positive reader comments.[47]

Charity work[edit]

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.[48][49] 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. He 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.[48] 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.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Hollander's sister is director, writer and singer Julia Hollander. The siblings, and their father Tony Hollander, presented a BBC Radio 3 documentary in 2020, exploring the story of how Tony and his parents escaped from the imminent Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938.[51][52] A letter from a BBC radio sound engineer saved his father's life.[53]

Hollander has lived in the same flat in Notting Hill, London, since 2000.[11][47] He is single and states that he is heterosexual.[54] In 2010 he became engaged to the designer Fran Hickman,[55] but they ended their relationship.

At the 2019 general election he campaigned in Kensington for Sam Gyimah of the Liberal Democrats.[56]

In 2020, Hollander contracted COVID-19, recovering without hospitalisation.[57]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Sylvia Hates Sam Friend Short
1996 Some Mother's Son Farnsworth
True Blue Sam Peterson
1998 Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely Not! Paolo Ferruzzi Video
Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence Daniel
Bedrooms and Hallways Darren
1999 The Clandestine Marriage Sir John Ogelby
2000 The Announcement Ben
Maybe Baby Ewan Proclaimer
2001 Enigma Logie
Lawless Heart Nick
Gosford Park Anthony Meredith Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
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
2002 Possession Euan
2004 Piccadilly Jim Willie Partidge
Stage Beauty Sir Peter Lely
Paparazzi Leonard Clarke
The Libertine Etherege Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2005 Pride & Prejudice Mr. Collins Evening Standard British Film Awards – Peter 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
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Cutler Beckett
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Sir Amyas Paulet
2008 Valkyrie Colonel Heinz Brandt
2009 In the Loop Simon Foster Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
The Soloist Graham Claydon
2010 Away We Stay[58] David Short
2011 Hanna Isaacs
The Voorman Problem Voorman Short film
2012 Whole Lotta Sole James Butler Uncredited role
A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman Recording Engineer (voice)
Mother’s Milk Narrator (voice)
Byzantium Teacher Uncredited role
2013 About Time Harry
The Invisible Woman Wilkie Collins
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Irish Journalist
The Riot Club Jeremy Villiers
2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
2016 The Promise Garin
Revolution: New Art for a New World[44] Kazimir Malevich (voice) Documentary film
2017 Holy Lands Moshe
Tulip Fever Dr. Sorgh
Breathe Bloggs and David Blacker
2018 A Private War Sean Ryan
Bohemian Rhapsody Jim Beach
Bird Box Gary
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle Tabaqui
The King's Man George V / Wilhelm II / Nicholas II Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1981 John Diamond William Jones TV film
1993–1995 Harry Jonathan 19 episodes
1994 Milner Ben Milner TV film
1995 The Bill O'Leary Episode: "Getaway"
1996 Absolutely Fabulous Paolo Ferruzzi 2 episodes
1997 Gobble Pipsqueak TV film
1999 Wives and Daughters Osborne Hamley Miniseries (4 episodes)
2001 The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Mantalini TV film
2003 The Lost Prince George V TV film
Cambridge Spies Guy Burgess Miniseries (4 episodes)
FIPA (Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels) d'or d'interprétation masculine award for best actor[59]
2004 The Hotel in Amsterdam Laurie TV film
London T. S. Eliot TV film
2005 Bridezillas Narrator Episode: "Korliss and Noelle"
2006–2019 American Dad! Various characters (voice) 10 episodes
2007 The Company Adrian Philby Miniseries (6 episodes)
2007–2008 Freezing Leon 3 episodes
2008 John Adams King George III Episode: "Reunion"
Headcases David Cameron / various voices 2 episodes
The Meant to Be's TV film
2009 Desperate Romantics John Ruskin 6 episodes
Gracie! Monty Banks TV film
The Thick of It Cal Richards Episode #3.8
Legally Mad Steven Pearle unaired pilot[60]
2010 Any Human Heart Edward, Duke of Windsor 3 episodes
2010–2014 Rev. The Reverend Adam Smallbone 3 series, 19 episodes; also creator, writer, and executive producer
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Male Comedy Performance;
Series was awarded a BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy in 2011[61]
2011 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Chuck (voice) Episode: "Vampirus"
2012, 2018–2019 Family Guy Various characters (voice) 3 episodes
2013 Ambassadors Prince Mark 2 episodes
2014 A Poet in New York Dylan Thomas TV film
2016 The Night Manager Lance "Corky" Corkoran Miniseries (6 episodes)
BAFTA Television Award - Best Supporting Actor
Doctor Thorne Doctor Thorne 3 episodes
2017 Taboo Dr. George Cholmondeley 5 episodes
2018 CBeebies Bedtime Story Nico. Rebel One-off
2019 Baptiste Edward Stratton 6 episodes
2020 Us[62] Douglas Petersen 4 episodes
Harley Quinn Alfred Pennyworth (voice) 3 episodes
Robot Chicken Percival, Professor X (voice) Episode: "Max Caenen in: Why Would He Know If His Mother's A Size Queen"
TBA The Ipcress File Major Dalby Upcoming miniseries[63][64]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role Notes
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Cutler Beckett

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "GreatRun".
  2. ^ Ray, Jonathan (13 March 2007). "Good lines and great wines". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2017: Tom Hollander wins Best Supporting Actor". Radio Times. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b Bowie-Sell, Daisy (28 October 2016). "Tom Hollander to star in Travesties West End transfer". What's On Stage. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Olivier awards 2017: full list of nominations". The Guardian. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Master and Fellows Selwyn College". Selwyn College, Cambridge. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Hollander's Honorary". Selwyn College, Cambridge. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Great to welcome Tom Hollander to the @Selwyn1882 Fellowship". Roger Mosey. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Tom Hollander: "Famous people don't hear the word 'no' enough"".
  10. ^ "BBC Radio 3 - Between the Ears, The Letter". BBC.
  11. ^ a b c Hattenstone, Simon (4 November 2011). "Tom Hollander: confessions of a lazy actor". The Guardian. London.
  12. ^ "Tom Hollander: "Famous people don't hear the word 'no' enough"". New Statesman. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  13. ^ Programme, Landscape with Weapon
  14. ^ Fox, Chloe (3 April 2009). "Tom Hollander interview: on 'In the Loop'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  15. ^ "Cambridge University Marlowe Dramatic Society".
  16. ^ "Great British Hopes". The Times. 20 April 1996.
  17. ^ Lusher, Tim (22 July 2010). "Tom Hollander: meet the Rev". The Guardian. London.
  18. ^ "Cold comfort in Medialand". The Times. London. 21 February 2008.
  19. ^ Fraser, Giles (27 June 2010). "Dearly beloved: Get on your knees and avoid the fees". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  20. ^,1766,BA.html#jump19 Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "BBC - BBC TV blog: Olivia Colman: Vicar's wife in Tom Hollander's Rev".
  22. ^ Clarke, Steve (31 July 2012). "Hulu sitcom 'Rev' reupped". Variety. London.
  23. ^ Schube, Sam (31 January 2017). "Tom Hollander Is the Perfect Sixth Man on 'Taboo'". The Ringer. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  24. ^ "The spark returns as Taboo starts cooking with gunpowder". The A.V. Club. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  25. ^ Galuppo, Mia (26 September 2017). "Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander Join Cast of Queen Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  26. ^ McNary, Dave (4 December 2017). "Bryan Singer Fired From Queen Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'".
  27. ^ Sinha-Roy, Piya (8 November 2018). "Watch Netflix's new trailer for Andy Serkis' dark twist on The Jungle Book tale, Mowgli". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Prized Performances". The Sunday Times. 21 February 1993.
  29. ^ "Glittering Prize". The Sunday Times. 20 April 1997.
  30. ^ "Ian Charleson Award". The Sunday Times. 5 April 1998.
  31. ^ Wright, Michael. "Old guard, young guns". Sunday Times. 4 May 1997
  32. ^ Benedict, David (16 December 2010). "A Flea in Her Ear". Variety. London.
  33. ^ Craig, Zoe (17 December 2010). "Theatre Review: A Flea In Her Ear @ The Old Vic". Londonist. London.
  34. ^ Wolf, Matt (7 October 2016). "Review: 'Travesties' and Finding New Depth in Stoppard". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  35. ^ Lawson, Mark (13 October 2016). "Patrick Marber's dynamic revival of Tom Stoppard's Travesties is anything but one". New Statesman. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  36. ^ "London Success 'Travesties' to Play Broadway". Variety. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  37. ^ "Tom Stoppard's 'Travesties' Will Return to Broadway". New York Times. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  38. ^ "The Madness of Grief". 29 October 1996. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  39. ^ "Audio Reviews: A Clockwork Orange". Publishers Weekly. 30 July 2007.
  40. ^ "Far Side of the Moore".
  41. ^ Hepworth, David (14 May 2016). "This week's best radio: School Drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  42. ^ "Reunion". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  43. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (14 October 2016). "Tweet from Peter Bradshaw". Twitter. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  44. ^ a b "Revolution: New Art for a New World". Foxtrot Films. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  45. ^ "Tom Hollander to narrate Legacy of Spies audiobook". The Bookseller. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  46. ^ "Tom Hollander, Author at The Spectator". The Spectator. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  47. ^ a b "Tom Hollander on sleeping pills and hugging pillows" – via
  48. ^ a b "Tom Hollander – Etc". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  49. ^ "Fundraisers – As a fundraiser – Teenage Cancer Trust". Retrieved 26 August 2014.[permanent dead link]
  50. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  51. ^ [1]
  52. ^ [2]
  53. ^ Jefferies, Mark (22 February 2019). "Baptiste's Tom Hollander reveals BBC work plea saved his family from Nazis". Daily Mirror.
  54. ^ Gerard Gilbert (21 February 2016). "Tom Hollander on 'The Night Manager', 'Doctor Thorne', heightism and atheism". The Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  55. ^ "Fran Hickman, interior designer: sono una raccontastorie". Fran Hickman (in Italian). Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  56. ^ Gyimah, Sam (10 December 2019). "Tweet from Sam Gyimah". Twitter. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  57. ^ Hollander, Tom. "Why gardening matters". New Statesman. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  58. ^ W London – Leicester Square (8 November 2010). "Away We Stay – W London Leicester Square Premiere". YouTube. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  59. ^ "Palmarès du Fipa 2004". La Libre Belgique. 27 January 2004. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  60. ^ Schneider, Michael (11 May 2009). "NBC passing on 'Legally Mad'". Variety. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  61. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2011: Situation comedy". BAFTA. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  62. ^ "BBC - Tom Hollander to star in Us, David Nicholls' adaptation of his bestselling novel for BBC One - Media Centre".
  63. ^ "New ITV drama The Ipcress File looks amazing - get the details". Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  64. ^ "The Ipcress File written by acclaimed screenwriter John Hodge starring Joe Cole, Lucy Boynton and Tom Hollander". Retrieved 16 March 2021.

External links[edit]