Katherine Mathilda "Tilda" Swinton (born 5 November 1960) is an Academy Award-, BAFTA-, and Volpi Cup winning British actress known for both arthouse and mainstream films.
Swinton was born in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour (née Killen), was Australian, and her father, Major-General Sir John Swinton of Kimmerghame, Berwickshire, KCVO, is Scottish. The Swinton family is an ancient Anglo-Scots family that can trace its lineage to the ninth century.
Swinton attended West Heath Girls' School (the same class as Diana, Princess of Wales), 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. She has two Honorary Doctorates: one from Napier University in Edinburgh, received in August 2006 and one from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, received July 2006. She was a contributing editor to the literary magazine Zembla.
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. She