Sir Anthony Hopkins has celebrated 47 years sober by sending an inspirational message to help others struggling with addiction.

The 84-year-old 'The Silence Of The Lambs' actor previously battled alcoholism but got clean and turned his life around back in 1975 and now he's sent a New Year's message via Instagram to anyone suffering addiction issues or bullying - urging them to get help.

He said: "I just want to wish you a happy new year, and also to say I'm celebrating 47 years today of sobriety. But this is a message not meant to be heavy but helpful

"I am a recovering alcoholic, and to you out there, know that there are people struggling in this day and age of cancel and and hatred and non compromise, children being bullied. I say to this be kind to yourself, be kind, stay out of the circle of toxicity with people if they offend you, live your life, be proud of your life."

Hopkins went on to admit he almost lost his life in his gruelling battle with alcohol addiction, but was able to make the necessary changes with some help - and he insisted anyone struggling with similar problems can turn to a life-saving 12-step program.

He went on: "Forty-seven years ago I was in a desperate situation in despair, and probably not long to live, and I just happen to acknowledge one day that there was something really wrong with me. I didn't realise it was a kind of condition, mental, physical, emotional condition ... called addiction. I'm not an expert on drugs I'm not an expert on anything. I know nothing, but I've found a life where no one bullies me. I want to say to all those young people being bullied. Take heed. You be proud of yourself. Don't let yourself be put down."

The actor concluded his message by saying: "Depression is part of being alive, life is tough, but if you need help with any addiction or problem, talk to someone. Talk to someone who you respect, whether it's a counsellor or to go to a 12 step program. There are 12 step programs are in every city all over the world ... that can help you identify what you are. It doesn't cost a thing but it can give you a whole new life."

He finished his inspirational message by saying: "I'm not a do-gooder, I'm a sinner just like everyone. But I have the best life I can even imagine, I can't even take credit for it. Wherever you are get help. Don't be ashamed ... don't let anyone put you down ... celebrate yourself ... Lots of love to you all. Thank you ."

Hopkins' Instagram account was flooded with comments from his famous friends and fans including fellow actor Hugh Jackman, who commented: "Well said!"

While Alec Baldwin wrote: "My love to you," and supermodel Naomi Campbell - who has been sober since 2008 - added: "Thank you Sir @Anthonyhopkins you are a shining beacon of light. You inspire me on my journey of recovery."