Tom Wilson is an actor, artist, comedian, and writer who’s been working in every aspect of popular culture for decades, creating touchstone roles, provocative paintings, and comic commentary every step of the way.
Internationally renowned for his iconic roles as Biff, Griff, and western gunslinger Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen in the historic “Back To The Future” trilogy, his acting credits include a long list of movies, television, animation, and the stage. Films include “The Heat,” with director Paul Feig. Stephen Soderbergh films including “The Informant,” “Bound by Honor” with Taylor Hackford, John Frankenheimer’s “Andersonville,” “Let’s Get Harry” for Stuart Rosenberg, and the classic “April Fools Day,” among others. The classic television series from Judd Apatow “Freaks and Geeks,” as well a long list of recurring and regular roles on many T.V. series and specials. Onstage he took on the leading role of Ben Rumson in the world premiere revival of “Paint Your Wagon” at the prestigious Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, as well as “110 In The Shade” at the Pasadena Playhouse, and can even be heard on countless animated shows, including playing a psychotic banana in the Nickelodeon show “PigGoatBananaCricket,” fighting superheroes on “Batman,” “Superman,” and “Spiderman,” and playing many roles on the hit show “SpongeBob Squarepants.”
His training began at The Philadelphia Company, The People’s Light and Theatre Company, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, which led to many theatre roles and every night spent onstage as an improv artist and standup comedian at Clubs like “Catch A Rising Star,” and the “Improv.” A move to Los Angeles led to a job as a regular performer at “The Comedy Store” on the Sunset Strip, where he was improvising with “The Comedy Store Players,” a now legendary cast of characters including Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, Jim Carrey, Garry Shandling and the long list of comedians and writers who would become the nexus of modern comedy. He’s performed as a comedian on “The Tonight Show” with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, and “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Conan,” “The Meltdown” on Comedy Central, and recorded his own comedy special called “Bigger Than You.”
As a Pop icon with a unique perspective in contemporary painting, he studied drawing and painting at the Art Academy of Los Angeles, the California Art Institute, and as a student and studio assistant to the impressionist Arthur Egeli, in a line of American impressionism and mentoring that goes back generations, from Henry Hensche, Robert Henri and beyond. Tom has been awarded a rare solo exhibition of his work at the Nickelodeon Studio World Headquarters, as well as a solo exhibition at the Disney Gallery, where he was awarded the title “Disney Featured Artist.“ His artwork is in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art, the California Museum of Photography, Disney, Mr. Judd Apatow, O Entertainment, Tropare, at his gallery in Laguna Beach, California, and in many collections around the world. His paintings and Pop aesthetic have been featured on Fox News, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, CBS The Morning, The Artist’s Studio, and hundreds more print and video features in the U.S. and internationally.
He’s been a writer at Universal Studios, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Film Roman studios. His writing has also appeared in “Sacred Passages,” published by Doubleday, in many literary magazines, including “Amelia,” “West Word,” and “ipsissima verba,” and he’s written a memoir, “The Masked Man.” He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Caroline, and their large and beautiful family.