Actor, director and playwright Tim Blake Nelson headlined TulsaPeople’s April 2004 feature about some of Tulsa’s best-known names making it big in New York City.
A 1982 graduate of Holland Hall who studied classics at Brown University and acting at Julliard, Nelson got his break playing Delmar O’Donnell in the 2000 film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” followed by several directing and acting projects. At the time of Jennifer Dixon’s interview, Nelson — who pursued theater as a foundation before film acting — found himself back on stage, playing William Shakespeare in an off-Broadway production, “The Beard of Avon.”
Over the past 17 years Nelson, who is the son of philanthropist Ruth Nelson and the nephew of businessman-philanthropist George Kaiser, has showcased his breadth of talent in film, TV and theater, both on screen and from the director’s chair. He also has written numerous plays.
Nelson delighted local audiences with his depiction of Wade Tillman and his alter-ego Looking Glass in the 2019 HBO series “Watchmen,” set in Tulsa. Nelson has called the character, who utilized his native drawl, “an Okie right down to the handlebar mustache.”
“The primary reason I got involved was because it was set in Tulsa and because it addressed the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921,” Nelson told an audience in February 2020 at Philbrook Museum of Art. “By being specifically set in Tulsa the show ended being more about the United States in general … You reach the universal through the specific, and I think that’s what the show did in a really wonderful way.”
His most recent film is the crime dramedy “Naked Singularity”; upcoming filmwork includes “Pinocchio” and “Nightmare Alley,” according to IMDb. Nelson and his wife, Lisa, of 27 years have three children.