Tim Roth


14 May 1961


London, England, UK


Timothy Simon Smith


Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Simon Timothy Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to "Roth"; Ernie was in Brooklyn, New York, to an immigrant family of Irish ancestry.

Tim grew up in Dulwich, a middle-class area in the south of London. He demonstrated his talent for picking up accents at an early age when he attended school in Brixton, where he faced persecution from classmates for his comfortable background and quickly perfected a cockney accent to blend in. He attended Camberwell Art College and studied sculpture before he dropped out and pursued acting.

The blonde actor's first big break was the British TV movie Made in Britain (1982). Roth made a huge splash in that film as a young skinhead named Trevor. He next worked with director Mike Leigh on Meantime (1984), which he has counted among his favorite projects. He debuted on the big screen when he filled in for Joe Strummer in the Stephen Frears neo-noir The Hit (1984). Roth gained more attention for his turn as Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent & Theo (1990) and his work opposite Gary Oldman in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990).

He moved to Los Angeles in search of work and caught the eye of young director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino had envisioned Roth as a possible Mr. Blonde or Mr. Pink in his heist flick Reservoir Dogs (1992), but Roth campaigned for the role of Mr. Orange instead, and ultimately won the part. It proved to be a huge breakthrough for Roth, as audiences found it difficult to forget his performance as a member of a group of jewelry store robbers who is slowly bleeding to death. Tarantino cast Roth again in the landmark film Pulp Fiction (1994). Roth and actress Amanda Plummer played a pair of robbers who hold up a restaurant. 1995 saw the third of Roth's collaborations with Tarantino, a surprisingly slapstick performance in the anthology film Four Rooms (1995). That same year Roth picked up an Academy Award nomination for his campy turn as a villain in the period piece Rob Roy (1995).

Continuing to take on disparate roles, Roth did his own singing (with an American accent to boot) in the lightweight Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You (1996). He starred opposite Tupac Shakur in Shakur's last film, the twisted comedy Gridlock'd (1997). The pair received positive critical notices for their comic chemistry. Standing in contrast to the criminals and baddies that crowd his CV, Roth's work as the innocent, seafaring pianist in the Giuseppe Tornatore film The Legend of 1900 (1998) became something of a fan favorite. Grittier fare followed when Roth made his directorial debut with The War Zone (1999), a frank, critically acclaimed drama about a family torn apart by incest. He made his next high-profile appearance as an actor as General Thade, an evil simian in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes (2001). Roth was, of course, all but unrecognizable in his primate make-up.

Roth has continued to enjoy a mix of art house and mainstream work, including everything from the lead role in Francis Ford Coppola's esoteric Youth Without Youth (2007) to becoming "The Abomination" in the special effects-heavy blockbuster The Incredible Hulk (2008). Roth took his first major American television role when he signed on to the Fox-TV series Lie to Me (2009)

Actor ( 130 credits )

1 Mile to You (2017) Jarhead
Twin Peaks (2017) (1 episode, 2017)
The Brits Are Coming (2016) Peter
The Childhood of a Leader (2015)
Hardcore Henry (2015) Henry's Father
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Chronic (2015) David
600 Miles (2015) Hank Harris
The Late Late Show with James Corden (2015)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2016)
United Passions (2014) Sepp Blatter
Grace of Monaco (2014) Prince Rainier III
October Gale (2014) Tom
Selma (2014) George Wallace
Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2016)
A Fuller Life (2013) Himself - Reader (segment "D-Day - an Invitation to Hell")
Finding Vivian Maier (2013) Himself
Möbius (2013) Ivan Rostovsky
Broken (2012) Archie
The Liability (2012) Roy
Arbitrage (2012) Det. Michael Bryer
Gold Rush: The Dirt (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Welcome to the Basement (2012)  Guildenstern (archive footage) (1 episode, 2016)
Rotten Tomatoes (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2015)
Kingdom Come (2011) Himself
The Jonathan Ross Show (2011)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
These Amazing Shadows (2011) Himself
Pete Smalls Is Dead (2010) Pete Smalls
IMDb's 20th Anniversary Star of the Day (2010)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
King Conqueror (2009) King Pedro II of Aragon
Lie to Me (2009)  Dr. Cal Lightman (48 episodes, 2009-2011)
The Incredible Hulk: Hulking Out in the Bottling Plant (2008) Himself
The Incredible Hulk: Hulking Out on Campus (2008) Himself
The Incredible Hulk: Hulking Out in Harlem (2008) Himself
The Incredible Hulk (2008) Emil Blonsky
Virgin Territory (2007) Gerbino
Funny Games (2007) George
Youth Without Youth (2007) Dominic
Chelsea Lately (2007)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2010)
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2007)
Rencontres de cinéma (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore (2007) Himself - at 2004 Cannes Film Festival (archive footage) (uncredited)
Even Money (2006) Victor
Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006)  Nick Fraser (2 episodes, 2006)
Don't Come Knocking (2005) Sutter
The Last Sign (2005) Jeremy Macfarlane
Dark Water (2005) Jeff Platzer
Robot Chicken (2005)  Doctor Who (1 episode, 2014)
Cinema mil (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
Banned (2005)  Himself - Presenter
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Battle of the Brave (2004) William Pitt
The Beautiful Country (2004) Captain Oh
Silver City (2004) Mitch Paine
The N Word (2004) (archive footage)
With It (2004) "Chicken Louis" Farnatelli
Tavis Smiley (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
Le grand journal de Canal+ (2004)  Himself (2 episodes, 2012-2014)
Tupac: Resurrection (2003) Himself (archive footage)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Himself / ... (3 episodes, 2005-2009)
Shootout (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2007)
From Hollywood to Borehamwood (2003)  Himself (unknown episodes)
Il était une fois... (2003) (1 episode, 2014)
To Kill a King (2003) Oliver Cromwell
Whatever We Do (2003) Joe
Emmett's Mark (2002) John Harrett / Frank Dwyer
Last Call with Carson Daly (2002)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Invincible (2001) Herschel Steinschneider / Erik Jan Hanussen
The Musketeer (2001) Febre the Man in Black
Planet of the Apes (2001) Thade
Vatel (2000) Marquis de Lauzun
Lucky Numbers (2000) Gig
Tim Roth: Made in Britain (2000) Himself
The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) Izzy Goldkiss (uncredited)
Bread and Roses (2000) Himself - Party Guest (uncredited)
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2001)
The Legend of 1900 (1998) Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred '1900'
Animals with the Tollkeeper (1998) Henry
Comedy Lab (1998)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Deceiver (1997) Wayland
Hoodlum (1997) Dutch Schultz
Gridlock'd (1997) Alexander 'Stretch' Rawland
Corazón de... (1997)  Himself (uncredited) (1 episode, 2006)
Mocking the Cosmos (1996) Myrodemnon / Myron
Everyone Says I Love You (1996) Charles Ferry
No Way Home (1996) Joey
Good Stuff (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 1997)
Four Rooms (1995) Ted the Bellhop
Rob Roy (1995) Cunningham
Who Do You Think You're Fooling? (1994) Mr. Orange / Chow (archive footage)
Captives (1994) Philip Chaney
Pulp Fiction (1994) Pumpkin / Ringo
Little Odessa (1994) Joshua Shapira
The Perfect Husband (1993) Milan
Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993) Nick
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 1995)
Good Day L.A. (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 2001)
Backsliding (1992) Tom Whitton
Reservoir Dogs (1992) Mr. Orange - Freddy Newandyke
HBO First Look (1992)  Himself (2 episodes, 2001-2008)
Jumpin' at the Boneyard (1991) Manny
Farendj (1990) Anton
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) Guildenstern
Vincent & Theo (1990) Vincent Van Gogh
The Word (1990)  Himself (1 episode, 1992)
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) Mitchel
Tales from the Crypt (1989)  Jack Craig (1 episode, 1991)
Troldspejlet (1989)  Himself - Actor / ... (1 episode, 2001)
A Fine Romance (1989)  The Jaguar (1 episode, 1989)
To Kill a Priest (1988) Feliks
A World Apart (1988) Harold
The Play on One (1988)  Peter Pike (1 episode, 1990)
Twice Upon a Time (1988)
Metamorphosis (1987)  Gregor Samsa
King of the Ghetto (1986)  Matthew Long (4 episodes, 1986)
Theatre Night (1985)  Curly Delafield (1 episode, 1989)
Return to Waterloo (1984) Boy Punk
The Hit (1984) Myron
Driving Ambition (1984)  Baz (1 episode, 1984)
Not Necessarily the News (1982)  Gay Man (1 episode, 1983)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Himself (3 episodes, 2008-2009)
The South Bank Show (1978)  Himself - Interviewee (1 episode, 1990)
TV Eye (1978)  Mehmet Ali Agca (1 episode, 1985)
Great Performances (1971)  Nick Finchley (1 episode, 1992)
Today (1952)  Himself (1 episode, 1995)
Mr. Right (0) Hopper
The Keys to the Street (0)
The Jesuit (0)
A Fall from Grace (0)
Tin Star (0) (1 episode)

Producer ( 1 credit )

Lie to Me (2009) producer (13 episodes, 2010-2011)

Director ( 1 credit )

The War Zone (1999)