Tilda Swinton


05 Nov 1960


London, England, UK


Katherine Matilda Swinton


The iconoclastic gifts of the visually striking and fiercely talented actress Tilda Swinton have been appreciated by a more international audience of late.

She was born Katherine Mathilda Swinton on November 5, 1960, in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was Australian, and her father, Major-General Sir John Swinton, an army officer, was English-born. Her ancestry is Scottish, Northern Irish, and English, including a long tapestry of prominent Scottish ancestors. Born into a patrician military family, she was educated at an English and a Scottish boarding school. Tilda subsequently studied Social and Political Science at Cambridge University and graduated in 1983 with a degree in English Literature. During her time as a student, she performed countless stage productions and proceeded to work for a season in the Royal Shakespeare Company. A decided rebel when it came to the arts, she left the company after a year as her approach shifted dramatically: With a taste for the unique and bizarre, she found some genuinely interesting gender-bending roles come her way, such as the composer Mozart in Pushkin's "Mozart and Salieri", and as a working class woman impersonating her dead husband during World War II, in Karges' Screenplay: Man to Man: Another Night of Rubbish on the Telly (1992). In 1985 the pale-skinned, carrot-topped actress began a professional association with gay experimental director Derek Jarman. She continued to live and work with Jarman for the next nine years, developing seven critically acclaimed films. Their alliance would produce stark turns, such as turner-prize nominated Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1987), The Garden (1990), Edward II (1991), and Wittgenstein (1993). Jarman succumbed to complications from AIDS in 1994. His untimely demise left a devastating void in Tilda's life for quite some time. Her most notable performance of that period however comes from a non-Jarman film: For the title role in Orlando (1992), her nobleman character lives for 400 years while changing sex from man to woman. The film, which Swinton spent years helping writer/director Sally Potter develop and finance, continues to this day to have a worldwide devoted fan following. Over the years she has preferred art to celebrity, opening herself to experimental projects with new and untried directors and mediums, delving into the worlds of installation art and cutting-edge fashion. Consistently off-centered roles in Female Perversions (1996), Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), Teknolust (2002), Young Adam (2003), Broken Flowers (2005) and Béla Tarr's The Man from London (2007) have only added to her mystique. Hollywood too has picked up on this notoriety and, since the birth of her twins in 1997, she has successfully moved between the deep-left-field art-house and quality Hollywood blockbusters. The thriller The Deep End (2001), earned her a number of critic's awards and her first Golden Globe nomination. Such mainstream U.S. pictures as The Beach (2000) with Leonardo DiCaprio, fantasy epic Constantine (2005) with Keanu Reeves, her Oscar-decorated performance in Michael Clayton (2007) alongside George Clooney and of course her iconic White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) have cemented her place as one of cinema's most outstanding women.

Actor ( 120 credits )

Okja (2017)
Suspiria (2017)
War Machine (2017)
Doctor Strange (2016) The Ancient One
Hail, Caesar! (2016) Hedda Hopper
A Bigger Splash (2015) Marianne
Trainwreck (2015)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Madame D.
Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)
Hollywood Sessions (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Variety Studio: Actors on Actors (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Snowpiercer (2013) Mason
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) Eve
The Zero Theorem (2013) Dr. Shrink-Rom
Are All Men Pedophiles? (2013) Herself (archive footage)
Radioman (2012) Herself
Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Social Services
Special Look (2012)  Herself (1 episode, 2016)
Celebrity Style Story (2012)  Herself (1 episode, 2016)
Cinema is Everywhere (2011) Herself
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) Eva Khatchadourian
Making It in Hollywood (2011) Herself
Women, War & Peace (2011)  Herself - Narrator (1 episode, 2011)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) The White Witch
Climate of Change (2010) Narrator
Ebert Presents: At the Movies (2010)  Herself - 'I Am Love' (2 episodes, 2011)
I Am Love (2009) Emma Recchi
The Invisible Frame (2009) The Cyclist
The Limits of Control (2009) The Blonde
Getting On (2009)  Elke (1 episode, 2012)
The Rotten Tomatoes Show (2009)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
Moving Pictures Live! (2009)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Elizabeth Abbott
Requiem for Jarman (2008) Herself
Julia (2008) Julia
Burn After Reading (2008) Katie Cox
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) The White Witch
Derek (2008) Narrator (voice)
Deutschland, deine Künstler (2008)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
Festival Updates (2008)  Herself (2008)
Faceless (2007) (voice)
Here's Looking at You, Boy (2007) Herself
Sleepwalkers (2007) Violinist working as a Copy Clerk
Michael Clayton (2007) Karen Crowder
The Man from London (2007) Camélia
Xposé (2007)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
DP/30: Conversations About Movies (2007)  Herself (unknown episodes)
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2010)
Reel Junkie (2007)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Kinotipp (2007)  Herself (1 episode, 2008)
Strange Culture (2007) Hope Kurtz
Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore (2007) Herself - at 2004 Cannes Film Festival (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bienvenue à Cannes (2007) Herself (archive footage)
Deep Water (2006) Narrator (voice)
Stephanie Daley (2006) Lydie Crane
Galápagos (2006)  Narrator (3 episodes, 2006)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) White Witch
Broken Flowers (2005) Penny
Absent Presence (2005) Operator
Constantine (2005) Gabriel
Thumbsucker (2005) Audrey Cobb
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Dusty Wright's Culture CatchCulture Catch (2005)  Herself
Derek Jarman: Life as Art (2004) Herself
At the Movies (2004)  Herself (2 episodes, 2009-2011)
Tavis Smiley (2004)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
The Statement (2003) Annemarie Livi
Young Adam (2003) Ella Gault
Adaptation. (2002) Valerie Thomas
Tilda Swinton: The Love Factory (2002) The Love Factory
Teknolust (2002) Rosetta / Ruby / Marinne / Olive
Independent View (2002)  Herself
Vanilla Sky (2001) Rebecca Dearborn
The Deep End (2001) Margaret Hall
Filmography (2001)  Herself (1 episode, 2005)
Anatomy of a Scene (2001)  Herself (1 episode, 2001)
Possible Worlds (2000) Joyce
The Dilapidated Dwelling (2000) Narrator (voice)
The Beach (2000) Sal
The Protagonists (1999) Actress
The War Zone (1999) Mum
Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998) Muriel Belcher
Conceiving Ada (1997) Ada Augusta Byron King, Countess of Lovelace
Corazón de... (1997)  Herself (1 episode, 2005)
Female Perversions (1996) Eve Stephens
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1996)  Herself (1 episode, 2012)
Caiga quien caiga (1996)  Herself (uncredited) (1 episode, 2005)
Glitterbug (1994) Herself (archive footage)
Remembrance of Things Fast: True Stories Visual Lies (1994)
Blue (1993) (voice)
Wittgenstein (1993) Lady Ottoline Morrell
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2008)
Orlando (1992) Orlando
Man to Man (1992) Ella / Max Gerike
HBO First Look (1992)  Herself (1 episode, 2005)
Gomorron (1992)  Herself (1 episode, 2000)
Edward II (1991) Isabella
The Party: Nature Morte (1991) Queenie
Días de cine (1991)  Herself (2 episodes, 2009-2012)
Charlie Rose (1991)  Herself - Guest (5 episodes, 2002-2014)
Fruits of Fear (1990) Herself
The Garden (1990) Madonna
Your Cheatin' Heart (1990)  Cissie Crouch (6 episodes, 1990)
War Requiem (1989) The Nurse
Play Me Something (1989) Hairdresser
Das andere Ende der Welt (1988)
Degrees of Blindness (1988)
L'ispirazione (1988)
The Last of England (1987)
Aria (1987) Young Girl (segment "Depuis le jour")
Friendship's Death (1987) Friendship
The Media Show (1987)  Herself (2 episodes, 1988-1991)
Egomania - Insel ohne Hoffnung (1986) Sally
Caravaggio (1986) Lena
Screenplay (1986)  Ella / ... (1 episode, 1992)
Cinema 3 (1984)  Herself (5 episodes, 2009-2014)
30 minuts (1984)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Herself (3 episodes, 2008)
CBS News Sunday Morning (1979)  Herself (1 episode, 2008)
La nuit des Césars (1976)  Herself (2 episodes, 2007-2009)

Producer ( 6 credits )

Okja (2017) co-producer
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) executive producer
I Am Love (2009) producer
Derek (2008) executive producer
Stephanie Daley (2006) executive producer
Thumbsucker (2005) co-executive producer

Writer ( 2 credits )

Here (2012) (concept by)
Derek (2008) (written by)

Director ( 1 credit )

The New Ten Commandments (2008)

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