Sir Anthony Hopkins CBE (born 31.12.1937)
Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor. He is best known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs and the sequel, Hannibal.
Anthony Hopkins: Childhood
Anthony Hopkins was born in Port Talbot, Wales, to Muriel and Richard Hopkins. He struggled with dyslexia at school and instead used art and music as a form of escape. In 1949, he was forced to attend Jones' West Monmouth Boys School, in an attempt to ingrain some discipline into his life. He later attended Cowbridge Grammar School.
It was the actor Richard Burton that eventually encouraged Hopkins to get into acting. Anthony enrolled in the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He graduated in 1957 and later moved to London to study at RADA.
Anthony Hopkins: Acting Career
Anthony Hopkins was spotted by Sir Laurence Olivier, in 1965 and was invited to join the Royal National Theatre, where he became Olivier's understudy. When Olivier fell ill during a production of The Dance of Death, Hopkins replaced him.
Hopkins soon tired of the repetitive nature of theatre work and longed to get some film work. In 1968, he landed his first film role, alongside Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole and Timothy Dalton in The Lion in Winter.
Anthony Hopkins' television debut came in 1967 when he appeared in the BBC production A Flea in Her Ear.
In the 1970s, Hopkins starred in a number of notable films, such as The Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens, in which he played Charles Dickens, A Bridge Too Far and War and Peace, in which he played Pierre Bezukhov.
In the 1980s, Hopkins continued this tradition of taking on the roles of well known literary or historical figures, such as Paul the Apostle in Peter and Paul. He also played Adolf Hitler in The Bunker, Othello in Othello, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Frederick Treves in The Elephant Man.
The 1990s saw Anthony Hopkins star in some of his best-known films. Richard Attenborough directed Hopkins along with Debra Winger in Shadowlands in 1993. Hopkins stars as the author C.S. Lewis in the film. Hopkins' first performance as Hannibal Lecter was also unveiled in 1991 in The Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins won the Best actor Oscar in 1992 for his performance. His co-star Jodie Foster also won Best Actress for her role as Clarice Starling. It was another 10 years, though until the character resurfaced in Hannibal, followed by 2002's Red Dragon. Also in 1991, Anthony Hopkins played the role of his former mentor, Sir Laurence Olivier, in the remake of Spartacus.
In 1992, Hopkins appeared in Bram Stoker's Dracula, as directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The film also starred Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman. Hopkins also starred in 1995's Nixon and 1997's Amistad.
Anthony Hopkins: Personal Life
Anthony Hopkins was made a naturalised citizen of the United States of America in 2000, an event that he celebrated with a 3000-mile road trip across the States.
Anthony Hopkins' first marriage was to Petronella Barker, from 1967 to 1972. In 1973, he married Jennifer Lynton but the couple divorced in 2002. Hopkins is currently married to the Columbian Stella Arroyave. His daughter, Abigail (born 1968) is a product of his first marriage. Abigail is an actress and a singer.
Anthony Hopkins is a volunteer teacher at the Ruskin School of Acting, in Santa Monica, which is where he lives.
Hopkins is a recovered alcoholic. He has been sober since 1975.
Anthony Hopkins is a patron of the Tommy Cooper Society. In February 2008, he unveiled a statue of the comedian in Caerphilly, wearing Cooper's trademark fez.
Hopkins has also worked as a director of films, making his directorial debut in 1996, with August, an adaptation of Uncle Vanya. He has also written a screenplay, entitled Slipstream, which debuted at 2007's Sundance Film Festival.
A role in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses was once created for Anthony Hopkins but, due to a scheduling clash, Hopkins' friend Roy Marsden took the role.