Nelson attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma.  He is a 1982 graduate of Holland Hall School in Tulsa, and a graduate of Brown University, where he was a Classics major as well as Senior Orator for his class of 1986. At Brown, he studied under the philosopher Martha Nussbaum.  He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Nelson won the Workman/Driskoll award for excellence in Classical Studies. He graduated from Juilliard in 1990, a member of Group 19. On May 8, 2009, he was inducted as an honorary member of the University of Tulsa's Beta of Oklahoma chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa national collegiate honor society. 
On the acting front, his most famous roles include Delmar O'Donnell in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Dr. Pendanski in Holes (2003), Daniel "Danny" Dalton Jr. in Syriana (2005), Dr. Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk (2008), Richard Schell in Lincoln (2012), and Buster Scruggs in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).
- "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
- "Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship"
- "She Was Killed by Space Junk"
- "If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own
- "Little Fear of Lightning"
- "See How They Fly"
- ↑ http://aboutfilm.com/features/greyzone/feature.htm
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20070825111930/http://www.oaiquartz.com/alumni/listing.cfm
- ↑ https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/15/tim-blake-nelson-classics-nerd-brings-socrates-to-the-stage
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20011226063441/http://brownalumnimagazine.com/storydetail.cfm?ID=61
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20101219080312/http://www.juilliard.edu/alumni/reflections_0603.html
- ↑ http://orgs.utulsa.edu/spcol/?p=4805
- ↑ https://www.newsweek.com/2019/05/03/tim-blake-nelson-1398692.html
- ↑ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/theater/socrates-public-theater-review.html