British television, stage and film actor Tom Hiddleston brought the Marvel comic book villain Loki to life on the silver screen in ‘Thor’ and ‘The Avengers.’
Born on February 9, 1981, in London, England, actor Tom Hiddleston has a gift for playing the evil villain. His turn as Loki, the sinister brother of the hammer-wielding god Thor—played by Chris Hemsworth—in the blockbusters Thor and The Avengers, has turned him into a star. First emerging on British television and the stage, Hiddleston has appeared in other films with such big time directors as Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro.
Thomas William Hiddleston was born on February 9, 1981, in Westminster, London, England, to James Hiddleston, a Scottish physicist, and his English wife, Diana, an arts administrator and casting director as well as a former stage manager. Hiddleston's mom introduced him to the world of movies and the theater at a young age and he was hooked on the notion of acting. While at Eton College and then University of Cambridge, he began appearing on stage. In 2001, he landed his first role on television in England, a small role in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (2001). More work followed, including Conspiracy (2001) and The Gathering Storm (2002)—both of which aired on BBC and HBO.
Aside from the feature film Unrelated (2007) and a few sporadic TV gigs on the BBC (Wallander and the documentary Galapagos as the voice of Charles Darwin), Tom Hiddleston focused on being a theater-based thespian over the next seven years. This included him studying and graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2005. The actor won the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for best newcomer in a play for his performance in Shakespeare's Cymbeline. That same year, he appeared in Othello opposite Ewan McGregor.
Breakout Role as Loki
Hiddleston performed in a West End revival of Ivanov opposite Kenneth Branagh in 2008. Impressed with his costar's work, Branagh casted Hiddleston in the 2011 film Thor—based on the popular Marvel Comic Book hero—that he was set to direct. The action flick was a major international hit and so was Hiddleston as Thor's evil sorcerer brother, Loki. He played the same villainous role in The Avengers (2012) before being cast once again as Loki in 2013's Thor: The Dark World.
Hiddleston also had roles in high-profile films such as Midnight in Paris (2011) and War Horse (2011). The latter film earned him the 2012 Rising Star accolade at the Richard Attenborough Film Awards. The entertainer earned a spot in the film noir story Black Wings Has My Angel (2013), with Anna Paquin and Elijah Wood, and also went on to play the Great Escapo in 2014's Muppets Most Wanted, with Ricky Gervais.
Hiddleston revisited darker supernatural fare once again in the haunted house of director Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak (2015). That season also saw him portraying country crooner Hank Williams in the biopic I Saw the Light. In 2016, he starred opposite Hugh Laurie in the TV thriller The Night Manager, which is based on the novel by John le Carré, and garnered him a Golden Globe win for his role. In 2017, he starred in the King Kong film Kong: Skull Island. He is scheduled to reprise his roles in Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).
Despite being found swoon-worthy to so many, Hiddleston remains a bachelor. In the past he's been romantically linked to British actress Susannah Fielding and record executive Jane Arthy. In 2016 he had a brief relationship with pop star Taylor Swift. But the performer's life isn't just about dating or his career. He's also found an outlet as a philanthropist.
In January 2013, he traveled with UNICEF UK to Guinea, West Africa, to visit children, families and communities. He's been involved and blogged about other UNICEF projects too, including "Live Below the Line" where he and thousands of others worldwide survived for a week on less than a dollar per day. "I've seen the difference UNICEF can do first-hand, at every level of care for malnourished children, in Guinea in West Africa," said Hiddleston on his UNICEF blog. "I undertook the 'Live Below The Line' challenge to raise awareness and support UNICEF in their commitment to save the lives of the poorest children in the world."