Tom Conti

Thomas Antonio Conti (born 22 November 1941) is a Scottish actor, theatre director, and novelist. He won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1979 for his performance in Whose Life Is It Anyway? and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1983 film Reuben, Reuben.

Tom Conti
Conti in December 2007
Thomas Antonio Conti

(1941-11-22) 22 November 1941
ResidenceHampstead, London, England
OccupationActor, theatre director, novelist
Years active1963–present
Kara Wilson
(m. 1967)
ChildrenNina Conti

Early life

Thomas Antonio Conti was born on 22 November 1941 in Paisley, Renfrewshire, the son of hairdressers Mary McGoldrick and Alfonso Conti.[1] He was brought up Roman Catholic, but is now antireligious.[2] His father was Italian, while his mother was born and raised in Scotland to Irish parents.[3][4] Conti was educated at independent Catholic boys' school Hamilton Park[5] and at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, both in Glasgow.


Conti is a theatre, film, and television actor. He began working with the Dundee Repertory in 1959. He appeared on Broadway in Whose Life Is It Anyway? in 1979, and in London, he played the lead in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell at the Garrick Theatre.

Besides taking the leading role in the TV versions of Frederic Raphael's The Glittering Prizes and Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests, Conti appeared in the "Princess and the Pea" episode of the family television series Faerie Tale Theatre, guest-starred on Friends and Cosby, and played opposite Nigel Hawthorne in a long-running series of Vauxhall Astra car advertisements in the United Kingdom during the mid-1990s.

Conti has appeared in such films as Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence; Reuben, Reuben; American Dreamer; Shirley Valentine; Miracles; Saving Grace; Dangerous Parking, and Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase.

Conti's novel The Doctor, about a former secret operations pilot for intelligence services, was published in 2004. According to the foreword, his friend Lynsey De Paul recommended the manuscript to publisher Jeremy Robson.[6]

He appeared in the hit BBC sitcom Miranda alongside Miranda Hart and Patricia Hodge, as Miranda's father, in the 2010 seasonal episode "The Perfect Christmas".

Personal life

Conti has been married to Scottish actress Kara Wilson since 1967 and their daughter Nina is an actress and a ventriloquist. According to Nina, her parents have an open marriage.[7]

Conti is a prominent resident of Hampstead in northwest London, having lived in the area for several decades. Conti was part of a campaign against the opening of a Tesco supermarket in nearby Belsize Park.[8] Conti put his Hampstead house up for sale in 2015 for £17.5 million after his long-running opposition to the building plans of his neighbour, the footballer Thierry Henry.[9] Conti had also opposed development plans for Hampstead's Grove Lodge, the 18th-century Grade II listed former home of novelist John Galsworthy.[10]

Conti participated in a genetic-mapping project conducted by the company ScotlandsDNA (now called BritainsDNA). In 2012, Conti and the company announced that Conti shares a genetic marker with Napoléon Bonaparte.[11] Conti has said that he "burst out laughing" when told he was directly related to Napoléon on his father's side.[11]


Conti considered running as the Conservative candidate in the 2008 London mayoral election, but did not, and in the following election in 2012, he supported unsuccessful independent candidate Siobhan Benita.[12] In the run up to the 2015 general election, Conti said in an interview published in several newspapers that he had come to view socialism as a religion with a "vicious, hostile spirit"[13] and that "conservatism was about enabling people to improve their lives."[14]



  • National Board of Review for Best Actor (Reuben, Reuben and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence)
  • Academy Award nomination as Best Actor (Reuben, Reuben)
  • Golden Globe nominations for Reuben, Reuben and Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story
  • Tony Award for Best Actor (Whose Life Is It Anyway?)
  • Laurence Olivier Award for Actor of the Year in a New Play ('Whose Life is it Anyway?)
  • Variety Club Award for Best Actor (Whose Life is it Anyway?)


  1. "Tom Conti Biography". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. Middlehurst, Lester (9 June 2006). "Tom Conti on why he doesn't think a sexual affair is necessarily a betrayal". Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 May 2010. When it comes to opinions, Tom is certainly not afraid to voice his own. A lapsed Catholic, he is fiercely anti-religious.
  3. "Tom Conti: My dad, sent to a prison camp for being Italian". BBC News. 27 April 2013.
  4. "11 angry men... and Tom Conti". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  5. "Tom Conti: Fidelity is overrated". The Daily Telegraph. London. 6 March 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  6. Conti, Tom (2006). The Doctor. Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 978-1-86105-841-6.
  7. Tom Conti: there are worse things than being unfaithful, a 12 December 2009, article from The Sunday Times
  8. "Tom Conti fights Tesco bid for store in Belsize Park". The Daily Telegraph. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  9. Vispers, Gareth (30 May 2015). "Tom Conti fights Tesco bid for store in Belsize Park". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  10. Banks, Emily (20 April 2015). "Financier withdraws basement scheme for Forsyte Saga's Grove Lodge in Hampstead". Ham & High. London. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  11. McKie, Robin (14 April 2012). "DNA project reveals Tom Conti's Napoleonic blood and rich roots of Scotland's genetic legacy". The Guardian. Manchester. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  12. "Tom Conti backs Siobhan running for Mayor". Siobhan for MAYOR. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  13. "Once a Labour luvvie Tom Conti says he now backs the Tories as the party of aspiration". The Herald. Glasgow. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  14. "Why I, a life-long Labour luvvie, am backing Cam, writes TOM CONTI". Daily Mail. 5 May 2015.
  15. "Search - RSC Performances - DED197607 - The Devil's Disciple - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust". Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  16. "THEATRE / All dressed up with no place to go: Paul Taylor reviews Present Laughter at the Globe Theatre, London". The Independent. 25 June 1993. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
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