Katherine Mathilda Swinton
5 November 1960
Katherine Mathilda "Tilda" Swinton is a Scottish actress and model known for both arthouse and mainstream films. She has appeared in a number of films, including Burn After Reading, The Beach and The Chronicles of Narnia, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her lead performances in The Deep End and We Need to Talk About Kevin. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Michael Clayton in 2007.
Swinton was born in London. Her father is Major-General Sir John Swinton, KCVO, OBE, DL, and Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1989 to 2000. Her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was Australian. Her paternal great-grandfather was Scottish politician and officer-of-arms George Swinton, and her maternal great-great-grandfather was Scottish botanist John Hutton Balfour. The Swinton family is an ancient Anglo-Scots family that can trace its lineage to the Middle Ages.
Swinton attended three independent schools, Queen's Gate School in London, the West Heath Girls' School and also Fettes College for a brief period. In 1983, she graduated from New Hall (now known as Murray Edwards College) at Cambridge University with a degree in Social and Political Sciences. While at Cambridge, she joined the Communist Party; she later joined the Scottish Socialist Party.
Swinton worked with the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, starring in Mann ist Mann by Manfred Karge, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, before embarking on a career in film in the mid-1980s.
In 1995, with producer and friend Joanna Scanlan, Swinton developed a performance/installation live art piece in the Serpentine Gallery, London, where she was on display to the public for a week, asleep or apparently so, in a glass case, as a piece of performance art. The performance, entitled The Maybe, was repeated in 1996 at the Museo Barracco in Rome and in 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In August 2006, she opened the new Screen Academy Scotland production centre in Edinburgh. In July 2008, she founded the film festival Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams. The event took place in a ballroom in Nairn on Scotland's Moray Firth in August. Swinton has collaborated with artist Patrick Wolf on his 2009 album The Bachelor, contributing four spoken word pieces.
In May 2013 it was announced that Swinton would be the face of the Chanel Pre-Fall Paris-Edinbourg collection. This collection was inspired by Scottish traditional fashion and fabrics. In July of the same year, Swinton appeared photographed in front of Moscow's Kremlin holding a rainbow flag in support of the country's LGBT community, reportedly releasing a statement: "In solidarity. From Russia with love."
Swinton lives in Nairn, overlooking the Moray Firth in the Highland region of Scotland with her twins and her partner Sandro Kopp, a German/New Zealand painter. John Byrne, father to their twins Honor and Xavier (born 1997), lives in Edinburgh with his partner Jeanine Davies.
To make your own nomination download the nomination form here