The price of celebrity maybe too high for some, especially if you’re not on the “A List.” Actor Thomas F. Wilson became a pop culture icon as the villain Biff Tannen (and various other members of the Tannen lineage) in the Back to the Future trilogy. The last Back to the Future film was released over 20 years ago, so what has Thomas F. Wilson been up to since then? He’s been making a living signing autographs for geeks and nerds at sci-fi conventions. In the video below, Wilson illustrates how he feels about these sci-fi conventions.
Of course, this is a very tongue-in-cheek rendition of his feelings, but it rings true nevertheless. Wilson’s current “out of the limelight” situation could be perceived as sad, but the 53-year-old actor owns it and makes it part of his celebrity persona.
It’s a shame Wilson couldn’t find any other roles as iconic as his the one that first made him famous. He was one of the reasons why those films work so well. His depiction of Biff Tannen (as well as Griff and Buford ‘Mad Dog’ Tannen) is so villainous and wonderful, there’s never a point in the whole series when you feel any sympathy for him. You just want the McFly clan to give him his comeuppance.
Wilson had a notable role on the very short-lived but critically acclaimed TV series Freaks and Geeks in 1999. He played high school gym teacher Coach Ben Fredricks, a complex, layered, and interesting character who helped make the TV series so re-watchable and rich. Wilson also worked as a voice actor on various animated series, including Gargoyles, Batman: The Animated Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and, of course, Back to the Future: The Animated Series.