Thomas F. Wilson
Wilson at Helium Comedy Club in
Portland, Oregon on July 16, 2011
Thomas Francis Wilson Jr.
April 15, 1959
|Other names||Tom Wilson|
|Occupation||Actor, voice-over artist|
Caroline Thomas (m. 1985)
Thomas Francis Wilson Jr. (born April 15, 1959) is an American actor, voice-over artist, and podcaster best known for playing Biff Tannen, Griff Tannen and Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen in the Back to the Future trilogy and Coach Ben Fredricks on NBC's Freaks and Geeks and for his voice-over work in movies, TV shows and video games.
Wilson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in nearby Wayne, Pennsylvania. While attending Radnor High School, he was involved in dramatic arts; was president of the debate team, where his partner was future New York Times columnist David Brooks, and played tuba in the high school band and was drum major of his marching band. He studied international politics at Arizona State University.
In the early 1980s, Wilson moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career. He shared an apartment with fellow aspiring comedians Andrew Dice Clay and Yakov Smirnoff, and later joked that he "taught them both about America."
His breakthrough role was the bully Biff Tannen in the 1985 film Back to the Future. He returned in the sequels Back to the Future Part II and Part III to not only reprise his role as Biff, but to also play Biff's grandson Griff Tannen and great-grandfather Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. In every Back to the Future film, he ends up in a pile of manure (in reality, a heap of decayed sphagnum and other plant matters) after trying to kill or hurt Michael J. Fox's character Marty McFly. He reprised his role as Biff and voiced various Tannen relatives in the animated series. Wilson did not reprise his role as Biff in the initial versions of Telltale's Back to the Future: The Game released in 2011, being replaced by Kid Beyond. When the game was ported to the PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2015 in commemoration of the original film's 30th anniversary, Wilson returned to provide Biff's voice in these newer versions.
In 1992, he voiced gangster Tony Zucco in Batman: The Animated Series and police detective Matt Bluestone in the animated series Gargoyles. He later went to co-star with Mark Hamill in Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, a video game. It was the third chapter in the Wing Commander series, but the first to feature live action and was extremely popular at the time. The character played by Wilson was Major Todd "Maniac" Marshall, a fellow starfighter pilot of Hamill's character. Wilson also starred in the sequels Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom (1995) and Wing Commander: Prophecy (1997) and contributed his voice to the animated series Wing Commander Academy (1996) in the same role. He also guest starred in an episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1997.
Wilson played McKinley High School's Coach Ben Fredricks in the 1999–2000 NBC comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks. Coach Fredricks dated Bill Haverchuck's mother. Wilson was briefly reunited with his Back to the Future co-star Christopher Lloyd in the 1994 film Camp Nowhere.
Wilson has done voice-over work for the Nickelodeon TV show SpongeBob SquarePants. He has voiced particular villainous characters that are physically strong and/or menacing, such as Flats the Flounder in the second season episode The Bully, and The Strangler in SpongeBob Meets the Strangler, and the non-villainous character Reg the Club Bouncer in No Weenies Allowed. In 2005 he played Coach Phelps in the TV series Zoey 101.
He has hosted a podcast, Big Pop Fun, on the Nerdist Network starting in November 2011. The podcast features Tom sharing stories of his career, as well as informal chats with show business friends including Samm Levine, Blake Clark, Steve Oedekerk, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and more.
Wilson is a painter. Many of his paintings focus on classic children's toys. In 2006, he was selected to join the California Featured Artist Series at Disneyland. Wilson practices Catholicism, and released a Contemporary Christian album in 2000 called In the Name of the Father.
With the rise in popularity of the Back to the Future series, many people began to ask him questions about his experiences making the films. Wilson found the repetitive nature of the questions to be so amusing and annoying that he wrote a song about them titled "Biff's Question Song" which he features regularly in his stand-up routine.
|1985||Ninja Turf||Member of Spike's Gang|
|Back to the Future||Biff Tannen|
|1986||April Fool's Day||Arch Cummings|
|Let's Get Harry||Bob Pachowski|
|1987||Smart Alex||Lieutenant Stevenson|
|1988||Action Jackson||Officer Kornblau|
|1989||Back to the Future Part II||Biff Tannen / Griff Tannen|
|1990||Back to the Future Part III||Buford "Mad-Dog" Tannen / Biff Tannen||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1991||High Strung||Al Dalby|
|1992||Boris and Natasha: The Movie||Additional voices||Voice, Uncredited|
|1993||Blood in Blood Out||Det. Rollie McCann|
|1994||Caroline at Midnight||Officer Keaton|
|Camp Nowhere||Lt. Eliot Hendricks|
|1995||Born to Be Wild||Det. Lou Greenburg|
|1997||That Darn Cat||Officer Melvin|
|1998||Girl||The Ticket Seller|
|2003||Atlantis: Milo's Return||Ashton Carnaby||Voice, direct-to-video|
|2004||The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||Victor / Fish #3 / Tough Fish #1||Voice|
|2006||Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector||Bart Tatlock|
|2009||The Informant!||Mark Cheviron|
|House Broken||Fire Chief Henry Decker|
|2010||Yohan: The Child Wanderer||Kevin|
|2011||Rio||Trapped Bird / Screaming Hang Glider||Voice|
|2012||Atlas Shrugged: Part II||Robert Collins|
|The Heat||Captain Frank Woods|
|Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure||Mr. Bigley / Ginormous||Voice; direct-to-video|
|2015||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||Angry Customer #1||Voice|
|1983||Knight Rider||Chip||Episode: "A Knight in Shining Armor"|
|1984||The Facts of Life||Moose||Episode: "All or Nothing"|
|1990||Turner & Hooch||Det. Scott Turner||Unsold TV pilot|
|1991–92||Back to the Future||Biff Tannen and other Tannens||Voice|
|1993||The Pink Panther||Additional voices||Voice|
|Batman: The Animated Series||Tony Zucco / John Grayson||Voice; episodes: "Robin's Reckoning: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1996||Superman||Joey||Voice; episode: "A Little Piece of Home"|
|Wing Commander Academy||Todd 'Maniac' Marshall||Voice|
|Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Simon||Episode: "Dream Date"|
|Andersonville||Thomas Sweet||TV movie|
|1997||Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Carter Landry||Episode: "Lethal Weapon"|
|Duckman||Park Ranger Smith||Voice; episode: "Short, Plush and Deadly"|
|Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Marty||Voice; episodes: "Clockwise/Gromble Soup", "Showdown/Internal Affairs"|
|steve.oedekerk.com||Costumer / Talk Show Host||TV movie|
|Fired Up||Steve Summer|
|1998||Pinky and the Brain||Larry Bruhn||Voice; episode: "Dangerous Brains"|
|Men in White||Ed Klingbottom||TV movie|
|The New Batman Adventures||Howlin' Jake / Gotham Angels Biker||Voice; episode: "Torch Song"|
|Zoomates||Mark the Polar Bear||Voice; TV short|
|Maggie||Hank||Episodes: "Just Shoot Him", "Every Little Star"|
|The Angry Beavers||Otis Otto / Bowling Patron||Voice; episode: "If You Insisters/Alley Oops!"|
|1999||The Hughleys||Stan||Episode: "Why Can't We Be Friends?"|
|Timon & Pumbaa||Additional voices||1 episode|
|Pepper Ann||Coach Bronson||Voice; episode: "Beyond Good and Evel/One of the Guys"|
|1999–2000||Freaks and Geeks||Coach Ben Fredricks||6 episodes|
|2000–01||Max Steel||Pete Costas||Voice; recurring role (season 1), main role (season 2)|
|2000||Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||Buster||Voice; episode: "Root of Evil"|
|2001||Nash Bridges||Jack Noon||Episode: "Bear Trap"|
|The Zeta Project||Burly Boyfriend||Voice; episode: "West Bound"|
|2001–13||SpongeBob SquarePants||Additional voices||Voice|
|2001||Titus||Joe||Episode: "Amy's Birthday"|
|2002–03||Do Over||Coach Dorsey||4 episodes|
|2002||She Spies||Roger 'Rush' Gibson||Episode: "Fondles"|
|2003||Ed||Sean Nowell||4 episodes|
|The Pitts||Guard||Episode: "Ticket to Riot"|
|Boston Public||Paul Stanton||Episode: "Chapter Sixty-Six"|
|Striperella||Tom Green, Zumo, Painted Patron, Director||Voice; episodes: "Beauty and the Obese: Part 1 and 2", "The Wrath of Klinko"|
|Two and a Half Men||Mike||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2004||The Mullets||Lyle Turner||Episode: "Losin' It"|
|Rock Me Baby||Buffalo Buck||Episode: "Go, Otis! It's Your Birthday!"|
|2005||Rodney||Bill||Episode: "Sorry Charlie"|
|Zoey 101||Coach Phelps||Episode: "Disc Golf"|
|Higglytown Heroes||Truck Driver||Voice; episode: "Kip's Dad Gets a Strike"|
|Reba||Ted||Episode: "Reba and the One"|
|George Lopez||Sonny||Episode: "George Drives the Batmobile"|
|2006||Help Me Help You||Kenny||4 episodes|
|Still Standing||Coach Kirk Stone||Episode: "Still Flunking"|
|Cold Case||Arnold Brown||Episode: "Superstar"|
|2006–08||Ghost Whisperer||Tim Flaherty||6 episodes|
|2007||American Body Shop||Juicy Lou||Episodes: "Juicy Lou's", "Shop for Sale"|
|House||Lou||Episode: "Whatever It Takes"|
|Boston Legal||Jeffrey Bass||Episode: "Attack of the Xenophobes"|
|2008||The Spectacular Spider-Man||Stan Carter||Voice; 6 episodes|
|Bones||Chip Barnett||Episode: "The Baby in the Bough"|
|Back at the Barnyard||Krebs||Voice; episode: "Brave Udders"|
|2008, 2009||Batman: The Brave and the Bold||Sportsmaster / Catman||Voice; episodes: "Invasion of the Secret Santas!", "Legends of the Dark Mite!"|
|2009||Psych||Butch||Episode: "Let's Get Hairy"|
|Family Guy||Additional voices||Voice; episode: "Quagmire's Baby"|
|2010, 2011||Big Love||Ricky Jax||3 episodes: "The Mighty and Strong", "Blood Atonement", "The Oath"|
|2010||Adventure Time||Head Marauder, Cat Man, Coal Guy||Voice; episodes: "Memories of Boom Boom Mountain", "It Came from the Nightosphere"|
|True Jackson, VP||Ben Franklin||Episode: "Field Trip"|
|2011||Harry's Law||Allan Meade||Episode: "Bangers in the House"|
|Billion Dollar Freshmen||Principal Preston||TV Movie|
|Planet Sheen||Narrator / Blurg #1||Voice; episodes: "Ooze on First/Monster-Fighting Combat Strike Force", "To Chill a Mocking Blurg/Now You Sheen It"|
|2011–12||Franklin & Bash||Spiritual Advisor||Episodes: "She Came Upstairs to Kill Me", "For Those About to Rock"|
|2011||Melissa & Joey||Councilman Herbert Hancock||Episode: "Play Ball"|
|2012–present||Dragons: Riders of Berk||Bucket||Voice, 16 episodes|
|2013||Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous||Mr. Stone||Main role, 12 episodes|
|Mad||Additional voices||Voice; episodes: "S Cape from Planet Earth/The X-Mentalist"|
|2014||See Dad Run||Principal Templeman||2 episodes|
|2015–18||Pig Goat Banana Cricket||Banana, Body Builder||Voice; 40 Episodes|
|2016||The Ranch||Coach Fitzgerald||Episode: "The Boys of Fall"|
|K.C. Undercover||Agent Whitman||Episode: "The Legend of Bad, Bad Cleo Brown"|
|Trollhunters||Coach Lawrence||Voice; 20 Episodes|
|School of Rock||Mr. Finn's Dad||Episode: "A Band with No Name"|
|2017||Workaholics||Barnes||Episode: "The Most Dangerless Game"|
|Training Day||Gary Millstone||Episode: "Quid Pro Quo"|
|Doubt||Anthony Kellem||Episode: "Running Out of Time"|
|Will vs. The Future||Principal Rhodes|
|The Mayor||Governor Fillucci||Episode: "Here Comes the Governor"|
|2018||Mosaic||Cliff Jones||Mini Series: 6 episodes|
|2018–19||DC's Legends of Tomorrow||Henry "Hank" Heywood||9 episodes|
|1990||Back to the Future... The Pinball||Biff Tannen||uncredited|
|1994||Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger||Maj. Todd 'Maniac' Marshall||Credited as Tom Wilson|
|1996||Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom||Maj. Todd 'Maniac' Marshall||Credited as Tom Wilson|
|1997||Wing Commander: Prophecy||Maj. Todd 'Maniac' Marshall||Credited as Tom Wilson|
|2000||Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force||Crewman Rick Biessman|
|2001||Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex||Rok-Ko||Credited as Tom Wilson|
|2002||Run Like Hell: Hunt or Be Hunted||Craig|
|2004||Back to the Future Video Slots||Biff Tannen||archive audio|
|2008||CR Back to the Future||Biff Tannen||archive audio|
|2010||Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame||Catman|
|Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions||Electro|
|2011||Star Wars: The Old Republic||Additional voices|
|2013||Back to the Future: Back in Time Video Slots||Biff Tannen, Griff|
|2015||Back to the Future: The Game 30th Anniversary Edition||Biff Tannen||Credited as Tom Wilson|
- Wilson, Tom (2012). The Masked Man: A Memoir And Fantasy Of Hollywood. BookBaby. ISBN 1624880819. Self published.
- Eustache, Louis (November 2, 2016). "Tom Wilson Of 'Back To The Future' Talks Pop Art, Biff Tannen And Parallels To Trump". Konbini United States.
- "What's What With … Tom Wilson". Philadelphia magazine. MetroCorp. December 3, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- Grant, Stacey (October 29, 2015). "12 Celeb Guest Stars You Completely Forgot Were On 'Zoey 101'". MTV News. MTV. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- Alexander, Bryan (October 21, 2015). "'Back to the Future': Catching up with the cast". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "Tom Wilson Artist Corner". The Art of Disney Parks. Disney.go.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- "Thomas F. Wilson – Musician". TomWilsonUSA.com. Dusty Tuba Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on February 8, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- Zimmerman, Neetzan (November 5, 2012). "Biff Tannen Has a Business Card that Answers All Your Annoying Questions About Back to the Future". Gawker. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
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