Timothy Simon Roth (/ˈrɒθ/; born 14 May 1961) is an English actor and producer.[2] He was among a group of prominent British actors known as the "Brit Pack".

Tim Roth
Roth at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Timothy Simon Roth[1]

(1961-05-14) 14 May 1961 (age 63)
Dulwich, London, England
  • Actor
  • producer
Years active1982–present
Nikki Butler
(m. 1993)

Roth was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer in his film debut The Hit (1984). Since then, he gained more attention for his roles in films, including The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), and Vincent & Theo and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (both 1990). Roth has collaborated with Quentin Tarantino on several films, including Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Four Rooms (1995) and The Hateful Eight (2015). For his performance in Rob Roy (1995), Roth won a BAFTA Award, and was nominated for the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award.

Roth made his directorial debut with the film The War Zone (1999). He played Cal Lightman in the Fox series Lie to Me (2009–2011) and Jim Worth/Jack Devlin in the Sky Atlantic series Tin Star (2017–2020). Roth played Emil Blonsky/Abomination in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Incredible Hulk (2008), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), and the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022).

Early life


Roth was born on 14 May 1961 in Dulwich, London. His mother, Ann, was a painter and teacher. His father Ernie, was a Fleet Street journalist and painter.[3][4][5] His father was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to a family of Irish descent. Although he was not of Jewish background, his father changed his surname from "Smith" to the German/Yiddish "Roth" in the 1940s, as "an act of anti-Nazi solidarity".[6][5][7]

Roth is a survivor of child sexual abuse, committed by his paternal grandfather, whom he has stated sexually abused him from childhood until his early teen years. He first revealed that he was a victim of sexual abuse during press for the 1999 film The War Zone, which dealt with the topics of incest and sexual violence within a family, but declined to name the perpetrator at that time. In December 2016, he gave an interview to The Guardian in which he revealed that his abuser was his grandfather, who had also abused his father when he was a child.[8]

Roth attended school in Lambeth before moving to Croydon Technical School, due to bullying.[7] He attended the Strand School in Tulse Hill. Roth wanted to be a sculptor and studied at London's Camberwell College of Arts.[9]


Roth at the 2008 Marvel booth signing

Roth starred in television films in the 1980s, including Made in Britain, Meantime and Murder with Mirrors. After his film debut The Hit, he earned an Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer. He played an East End character in King of the Ghetto, a controversial drama based on a novel by Farukh Dhondy set in Brick Lane and broadcast by the BBC in 1986. In the late 1980s, Roth, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bruce Payne and Paul McGann were dubbed the Brit Pack.[10][11][12]

In 1990, he played Vincent van Gogh in Vincent & Theo, and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

Roth became an international star when he collaborated with Quentin Tarantino on several films, including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Four Rooms.

He played Archibald Cunningham in Rob Roy. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe.[13] Roth starred in Woody Allen's musical film Everyone Says I Love You and in The Legend of 1900. He also co-starred with Tupac Shakur in the film Gridlock'd. Roth made his directorial debut film The War Zone, a film version of Alexander Stuart's novel. In 2001, he played General Thade the evil chimpanzee in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. For the Harry Potter film series, Roth declined the role of Severus Snape, which went to Alan Rickman.[14]

Roth in 2014

Roth starred in Francis Ford Coppola's film Youth Without Youth, Michael Haneke's Funny Games, and played Emil Blonsky / Abomination, a Russian-born officer in the British Royal Marines Commandos, in The Incredible Hulk. Louis Leterrier was a fan of Roth's work. Leterrier wrote on Empire magazine: "it's great watching a normal Cockney boy become a superhero!".[15] Roth starred in the television series Lie to Me as Cal Lightman, an expert on body language assisting local and federal law organisations with the crime.[16] A fan of Monty Python since his youth, Roth appeared in the 2009 television documentary, Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyers Cut).[17] He appeared on the cover of Manic Street Preachers' 2010 studio album, Postcards from a Young Man.[18]

In 2012, he became the president of the jury for the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[19] He starred as FIFA President Sepp Blatter in United Passions, a film about football's governing body, released in 2014, to coincide with FIFA's 110th anniversary, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[20] Roth starred in the 2015 film Chronic which had a limited release. He received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead nomination. Roth played Oswaldo Mobray in the ensemble western film The Hateful Eight,[21] and played a butler in a deleted scene for the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.[22] Roth reprised his role as Emil Blonsky/Abomination in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and in the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022), both set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[23][24]

Personal life


Roth's son Jack, born to Lori Baker in 1984,[25] is also an actor.[26] Roth married Nikki Butler in 1993. They had two sons, Hunter and Cormac. Cormac, a musician, died aged 25 from germ cell cancer on 16 October 2022.[27]

Roth is a supporter of the Green Party of England and Wales.[28]

He endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President in the 2016 US presidential election.[29] Roth was critical of Donald Trump's victory saying "I hate Trump. I hate everything that he stands for. He should never be forgotten or forgiven for anything he said on the road to the White House".[30]




  1. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (16 April 1995). "Roth discovers froth". The Observer (London). Gale A171363897.
  2. ^ I was the only Englishman there, and was really nervous that I wouldn't fit in., Tim Roth: The Hollywood Interview, 3 November 2022
  3. ^ "Tim Roth Biography (1961–)". Film Reference.
  4. ^ Raphael, Amy. "Tim Roth interview". Esquire. Vol. 9, no. 9.
  5. ^ a b Simon, Alex (5 March 2009). "Tim Roth: The Hollywood Interview". The Hollywood Interview. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
  6. ^ Shoard, Catherine (20 May 2012). "Tim Roth: who's the daddy?". The Guardian. London.
  7. ^ a b Hicklin, Aaron (6 January 2019). "Tim Roth: 'As messy as your life can be, there has to be a window you can escape through'". The Observer. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  8. ^ Shoard, Catherine (5 December 2016). "Tim Roth: my father and I were abused by my grandfather". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (10 February 2008). "Low morale devastates art colleges". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  10. ^ Stern, Marlow (8 December 2011). "Gary Oldman Talks 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,' 'Batman' Retirement". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  11. ^ "The Brit Pack". BrucePayne.de. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  12. ^ Kistler, Alan (2013). Doctor Who: A History. Lyons Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-1-49300-016-6.
  13. ^ "Film in 1996". BAFTA. 22 February 2017.
  14. ^ Adler, Shawn (7 December 2007). "What Would 'Potter' Have Been Like With Tim Roth As Snape?". MTV News. Archived from the original on 18 December 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  15. ^ "News Etc". Empire. No. 226. April 2008. pp. 15–16.
  16. ^ "Lie to Me". University of San Francisco (USF). Archived from the original on 16 June 2009.
  17. ^ McGrath, Charles (30 September 2009). "Monty Python: Still On Comedy's Flying Trapeze". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Nuovo dei Manics a settembre" (in Italian). Indie-Rock. 6 June 2010. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Tim Roth to lead Cannes Un Certain Regard jury". BBC News. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Tim Roth to play Fifa president Sepp Blatter on film". BBC News. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Tim Roth on Finding Quentin Tarantino's Rhythm 20 Years Later in 'The Hateful Eight'". Variety. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  22. ^ Thompson, Anne (22 May 2019). "'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Delivers a Mega Movie Star Bromance: Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt". IndieWire.
  23. ^ Davis, Erik (16 August 2021). "'Shang Chi' Director Destin Daniel Cretton Reveals New Details About Marvel's Next Big Historic Action Movie". Fandango Media.
  24. ^ Boone, John (10 December 2020). "Marvel Debuts New Trailers for 'Loki' and 'Falcon and Winter Soldier,' Announces 'Fantastic Four' Movie". Entertainment Tonight. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  25. ^ Smith, Andrew (28 March 1997). "Look back in anger". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  26. ^ "Jack Roth". IMDb.
  27. ^ Moreau, Jordan (31 October 2022). "Cormac Roth, Musician and Son of Tim Roth, Dies at 25". Variety. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  28. ^ McLean, Craig (3 April 2008). "Tim Roth: touching evil in Michael Haneke's Funny Games". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  29. ^ Caen, Melissa (20 October 2015). "Where Are Presidential Donations Coming From In California?". KPIX-TV. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  30. ^ Carroll, Rory (4 December 2016). "Tim Roth: 'If you neglect the working class for so long, they will rebel against you'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2023.