Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor of film, stage, and television.
His full name is Philip Anthony Hopkins.
He was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales.
His parents were Annie Muriel (née Yeates) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker.
His school days were unproductive; he would rather immerse himself in art, such as painting and drawing, or playing the piano, than attend to his studies.
Hopkins was influenced and encouraged by Welsh compatriot Richard Burton, whom he met at the age of 15.
Hopkins promptly enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, from which he graduated in 1957.
Hopkins made his first professional stage appearance in the Palace Theatre, Swansea, in 1960 with Swansea Little Theatre’s production of Have a Cigarette.
In 1965, after several years in repertory, Laurence Olivier invited Hopkins to join the Royal National Theatre and become his understudy.
Hopkins filled in when Olivier was struck with appendicitis during a production of August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death. Olivier later noted in his memoir, Confessions of an Actor, that “A new young actor in the company of exceptional promise named Anthony Hopkins was understudying me and walked away with the part of Edgar like a cat with a mouse between its teeth.”
In 1967, he made his first film for television, A Flea in Her Ear (1967).
In 1968, he got his break in The Lion in Winter playing Richard I.
Although Hopkins continued in theatre he gradually moved away from it to become more established as a television and film actor.
He portrayed Charles Dickens in the BBC television film The Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens in 1970, and Pierre Bezukhov in the BBC’s mini series War and Peace (1972).
In 1980, he starred in The Elephant Man as the English doctor Sir Frederick Treves, who attends to Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London.
Two good television literature adaptations followed: Othello (1981) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982).
In 1984, he starred opposite Mel Gibson in The Bounty as William Bligh, captain of the Royal Navy ship the HMS Bounty, in a retelling of the mutiny on the Bounty.
Hopkins’ most famous role is as the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1991, with Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, who also won for Best Actress.
In 1992, Hopkins portrayed Abraham Van Helsing in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Set in 1950s post-war Britain, Hopkins starred opposite Emma Thompson in the critically acclaimed The Remains of the Day (1993). Hopkins was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, and the film frequently ranks among the best British films of all time.
Hopkins portrayed Oxford academic C. S. Lewis in the 1993 British biographical film Shadowlands, and received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
Hopkins earned Academy Award nominations for his performances as two U.S. presidents: Richard Nixon in Nixon (1995), and John Quincy Adams in Amistad (1997).
Hopkins had the chance to work with Bart the Bear (a male Alaskan Kodiak bear actor) in two films: Legends of the Fall (1994) and The Edge (1997).
In 1998, Hopkins appeared in The Mask of Zorro, co-starring Spanish actor Antonio Banderas. He also starred in 1998’s Meet Joe Black.
Hopkins reprised his role as Dr Hannibal Lecter ; in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal (2001), and Red Dragon (2002).
Hopkins stated that his role as Burt Munro, whom he portrayed in his 2005 film The World’s Fastest Indian, was his favourite.
The acclaimed actor has continued to work in major motion pictures, appearing in such films as Proof (2005), Beowulf (2007), Thor (2011) and Noah (2014).
Since October 2016, Hopkins has been starring as Robert Ford in the HBO sci-fi series Westworld.
Along with his Academy Award, Hopkins has won three BAFTA Awards and two Emmys.
Anthony Hopkins was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1987.
In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.
In 2006, Hopkins was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
In 2008, he received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the highest award the British Film Academy can bestow.
Hopkins has been married three times. His first two wives were Petronella Barker from 1966 to 1972, and Jennifer Lynton from 1973 to 2002. He has a daughter from his first marriage, actress and singer Abigail Hopkins (born 20 August 1968). He married Stella Arroyave in 2003 .
Hopkins is a recovering alcoholic; After waking up one day in a hotel room in Arizona with no idea how he got there, he quit drinking in 1975. He said that a major help in his recovery was his belief in God.
Anthony Hopkins has an estimated net worth of $160 million.
He resides in Santa Monica, California.
Hopkins received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Wales.
Though dyslexic, he’s always possessed a great memory for scripts.
He reads scripts sometimes upwards of 200 out loud before filming, and to exercise his memory, memorizes one new poem a week.
Hopkins is a gifted mimic, adept at turning his native Welsh accent into whatever is required by a character.
His original portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) has been labelled by the American Film Institute as the number-one film villain.
Hopkins is proud of his improvisational touches as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) such as: the unnerving effect on Jodie Foster when he mocked her character’s West Virginia accent; the distorion of the word “chianti” and the vile slurping sound he makes after he describes eating the “census-taker.” Hopkins also notes that Hannibal never blinked his eyes when he spoke.
During filming of Amistad (1997), he astounded the cast and crew by memorizing a seven page speech in one go. Steven Spielberg was so impressed that he insisted on calling him “Sir Anthony” throughout the shoot rather than Tony.
Hopkins had a brush with death while shooting The Edge (1997) in Alberta, Canada. He fell in a river, and was rushed to hospital to be treated for hypothermia.
Hopkins has offered his support to various charities and appeals, notably becoming President of the National Trust’s Snowdonia Appeal, raising funds for the preservation of Snowdonia National Park in north Wales. In 1998 he donated £1 million towards the £3 million needed to aid the Trust’s efforts in purchasing parts of Snowdon.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
In Invercargill, New Zealand, there is a drama school named after him—The Anthony Hopkins School of Dramatic Arts. He was present for its opening, as he was in Invercargill filming scenes for the The World’s Fastest Indian (2005) at the time.
The Anthony Hopkins Theatre at the Theatre Clwyd Cymru in Mold, North Wales, UK was named in his honour.
In an interview with Larry King in 2016, Hopkins described himself as an agnostic and said he believed in a “superior consciousness in all of us”.
His favorite horror film is Rosemary’s Baby (1968).