Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

Infobox actor

imagesize = 180px
caption = Hopkins on location in Berlin filming "The Innocent", May 1992
birthdate = birth date and age|df=yes|1937|12|31
birthplace = Port Talbot, Wales
birthname = Philip Anthony Hopkins
yearsactive = 1967-present
spouse = Petronella Barker
(1967-1972) (divorced)
Jennifer Lynton
(1973-2002) (divorced)
Stella Arroyave
academyawards = Best Actor
1991 "The Silence of the Lambs"
baftaawards = Best TV Actor
1973 "War and Peace"
Best Actor in a Leading Role
1991 "The Silence of the Lambs"
1993 "Shadowlands"Academy Fellowship
emmyawards = Outstanding Lead Actor - Mini-series/Movie
1976 "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case"
1981 "The Bunker"
goldenglobeawards = Cecil B. DeMille Award
2006 Lifetime achievement
awards = Saturn Award for Best Actor (film)
1991 "The Silence of the Lambs"
NYFCC Award for Best Actor
1991 "The Silence of the Lambs"

Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, CBE (born 31 December 1937) is a Welsh film, stage and television actor. Considered by many to be one of film's greatest living actors, [ [ BBC NEWS | Wales | Hopkins 'greatest British actor' ] ] [ [ Anthony Hopkins Biography ] ] [ [ Anthony Hopkins - Biography ] ] [ [,,-3689,00.html Anthony Hopkins | | Film ] ] his roles include the portrayal of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 blockbuster "The Silence of the Lambs" and its sequels "Hannibal" and "Red Dragon". His other notable film credits include "The Elephant Man", "Bram Stoker's Dracula", "The Remains of the Day", "The Mask of Zorro", "The World's Fastest Indian", "Hearts in Atlantis", "Nixon" and "Fracture". Hopkins was born and raised in Wales, and also became a U.S. citizen on 12 April 2000. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2008.


Early life

Hopkins was born in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, the son of Muriel Anne (née Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker.Stated in interview on "Inside the Actors Studio", 2007] His mother is a distant relative of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. His schooldays were unproductive. A loner with dyslexia, he found that he would rather immerse himself in art, such as painting and drawing or playing the piano, than attend to his studies. In 1949, to instill some discipline, his parents insisted he attend Jones' West Monmouth Boys' School in Pontypool, Wales. He remained there for five terms and was then educated at Cowbridge Grammar School, Cowbridge, Wales.

Hopkins was influenced and encouraged to become an actor by compatriot Richard Burton, whom he met briefly at the age of 15. To that end, he enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, Wales from which he graduated in 1957. After a two-year spell in the Army for National Service, he moved to London where he trained at RADA.


In 1965, after several years in repertory, he was spotted by Sir Laurence Olivier, who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre. Hopkins became Olivier's understudy, and 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".cite book | first=Quentin | last=Falk | year=2004 | title=Anthony Hopkins: The Biography | edition=4th | publisher=Virgin Books | id=ISBN 0-7535-0999-7]

Despite his success at the National, Hopkins tired of repeating the same roles nightly and yearned to be in movies. In 1968, he got his break in "The Lion in Winter" playing Richard I, along with Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, and future James Bond star Timothy Dalton, who played Philip II of France.

Although Hopkins continued in theatre (most notably in the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer's "Equus", directed by John Dexter) he gradually moved away from it to become more established as a television and film actor. He made his small-screen debut in a 1967 BBC broadcast of "A Flea in Her Ear". He has since gone on to enjoy a long career, winning many plaudits and awards for his performances. Hopkins was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1987, and a Knight Bachelor in 1993 [ [ Official announcement knighthood] . The London Gazette. 23 April 1993.] In 1996, Hopkins was awarded an honorary fellowship from the University of Wales, Lampeter.

Hopkins has stated that his role as Burt Munro, whom he portrayed in his 2005 film "The World's Fastest Indian", was his favourite. He also asserted that Munro was the easiest role that he had ever played because both men have a similar outlook on life. [cite web | url=| | title="The World's Fastest Indian| accessdate=2007-05-21]

In 2006, Hopkins was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.In 2008, he received the Bafta Fellowship Award.

Acting style

Hopkins is renowned for his firm preparation for roles. He has confessed in interviews that once he has committed to a project, he will go over his lines as many times as is needed (sometimes upwards of 200) until the lines sound natural to him, so that he can "do it without thinking". This leads to an almost casual style of delivery that belies the amount of groundwork done beforehand. While it can allow for some careful improvisation, it has also brought him into conflict with the occasional director who departs from the script, or demands what the actor views as an excessive number of takes. Hopkins has also stated that after he is finished with a scene, he simply discards the lines, not remembering them later on. This is unlike other actors who usually remember their lines from a film even years later. [ "Anthony Hopkins: Lecter and Me" — "Red Dragon" DVD interview]

Richard Attenborough, who has directed Hopkins on five occasions, found himself going to great lengths during the filming of "Shadowlands" (1993) to accommodate the differing approaches of his two stars (Hopkins and Debra Winger), who shared many scenes. Whereas Hopkins liked to keep rehearsals to a minimum, preferring the spontaneity of a fresh take, Winger rehearsed continuously. To allow for this, Attenborough stood in for Hopkins during Winger's rehearsals, only bringing him in for the last one before a take. The director praised Hopkins for "this extraordinary ability to make you believe when you hear him that it is the very first time he has ever said that line. It's an incredible gift."

In addition, Hopkins is a gifted mimic, adept at turning his native Welsh accent into whatever is required by a character. He duplicated the voice of his late mentor, Sir Laurence Olivier, for additional scenes in "Spartacus" in its 1991 restoration. His interview on the 1998 relaunch edition of the British TV chat show "Parkinson" featured an impersonation of Welsh comedian Tommy Cooper.

Hannibal Lecter

Hopkins' most famous role is the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs" for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992. He was opposite to Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, who also won for Best Actress. In addition, the film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is the shortest lead performance to win an Oscar, as Hopkins only appears for approximately sixteen minutes. Hopkins went on to reprise his role as Lecter two times ("Hannibal" in 2001, "Red Dragon" in 2002). His original portrayal of the character in "The Silence of the Lambs" has been labelled by the American Film Institute as the number-one film villain. [cite web | url=| | title=AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains| accessdate=2007-05-21] At the time he was offered the role, Hopkins was making a return to the London stage, performing in "M. Butterfly". He had come back to Britain after living for a number of years in Hollywood, having all but given up on a career there, saying, "Well that part of my life's over; it's a chapter closed. I suppose I'll just have to settle for being a respectable actor poncing around the West End and doing respectable BBC work for the rest of my life."

The character first appeared in the film "Manhunter", which was loosely based on "Red Dragon". Lecter (spelled "Lecktor" in the film) was played by Scottish actor Brian Cox. Since "Red Dragon" was considered a remake of "Manhunter", it allowed Hopkins to play the iconic villain in adaptations of all three of the best-selling Lecter novels by Thomas Harris. The author was reportedly very pleased with Hopkins' portrayal of his antagonist. However, Hopkins stated that "Red Dragon" would feature his final performance as the character, and that he would not reprise even a narrative role in the latest addition to the series, "Hannibal Rising".

Personal life

As of 2007, Hopkins resides in the United States. He had moved to the country once before during the 1970s to pursue his film career, but returned to Britain in the late 1980s. However, he decided to return to the U.S. following his 1990s success. He became a naturalized citizen on 12 April 2000, and celebrated with a 3,000-mile road trip across the country.

Hopkins has been married three times. His first two wives were Petronella Barker (1967–1972) and Jennifer Lynton (1973–2002). He is now married to Colombian-born Stella Arroyave. He has a daughter from his first marriage, Abigail Hopkins (born 1967), an actress and singer.

He 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 the Snowdonia National Park and to aid the Trust's efforts to purchase parts of Snowdon. A book celebrating these efforts, "Anthony Hopkins' Snowdonia," was published together with Graham Nobles. Hopkins, who can speak some Welsh, also takes time to support various philanthropic groups. He was a Guest of Honour at a Gala Fundraiser for Women in Recovery, Inc., a Venice, California-based non-profit organization offering rehabilitation assistance to women in recovery from substance abuse. He is also a volunteer teacher at the Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, California, where he resides.

Hopkins is an acknowledged alcoholic [ [,,24075,00.html Guardian Unlimited: A dark and stormy knight] ] who has been sober since 1975. Hopkins is known to be a joker while on set, lightening the mood during production by barking like a dog before filming a scene, according to a "Tonight Show" interview broadcast on 9 April 2007.

Hopkins is a prominent member of environmental protection group Greenpeace and as of early 2008 featured in a television advertisement campaign, voicing concerns about Japan's continuing annual whale slaughter. [ [ Green Peace anti-whaling video] ] Hopkins has been a patron of RAPt (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) since its early days and helped open their first intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit at Downview (HM Prison) in 1992.

He is an admirer of the comedian Tommy Cooper. On 23 February 2008, as patron of The Tommy Cooper Society, the actor unveiled a commemorative statue in the entertainer's home town of Caerphilly. For the ceremony, Hopkins donned Cooper's trademark fez and performed a comic routine. [ [ BBC News: Tommy Cooper statue is unveiled] ] He is a lacto-vegetarians.

Other work

Hopkins is a talented pianist. In 1986, he released a single called "Distant Star". It peaked at #75 in the UK charts. In 2007, he announced he would retire temporarily from the screen to tour around the world. [cite web|author=Associated Press|date=3 December 2007|url=|title=De gira como pianista|accessdate=]

In 1996, Hopkins directed his first film, "August", an adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya". His first screenplay, an experimental drama called "Slipstream", which he also directed and scored, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007.

Hopkins is a fan of the BBC sitcom "Only Fools and Horses", and once remarked in an interview how he'd love to appear in the series. Writer John Sullivan saw the interview, and with Hopkins in mind created the character Danny Driscoll, a local villain. However, filming of the new series coincided with the filming of "The Silence of the Lambs", making Hopkins unavailable. The role instead went to his friend Roy Marsden. [cite book | author=Clark, Steve | title=The Only Fools and Horses Story| publisher=BBC Books| year=1998| id=ISBN 0-563-38445-X | pages=p. 125]

Hopkins has played many famous historical and fictional characters including:
* John Quincy Adams ("Amistad", 1997)
* Pierre Bezukhov ("War and Peace," 1972)
* William Bligh ("The Bounty", 1984)
* Charles Dickens ("The Great Inimitable Mr Dickens", 1970)
* John Frost ("A Bridge Too Far", 1977)
* Bruno Hauptmann ("The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case", 1976)
* Abraham Van Helsing ("Bram Stoker's Dracula", 1992)
* Adolf Hitler ("The Bunker", 1981)
* Hrothgar" (Beowulf", 2007)
* Dr. John Harvey Kellogg ("The Road to Wellville", 1994)
* Dr. Hannibal Lecter ("The Silence of the Lambs", 1991)
("Hannibal", 2001) ("Red Dragon", 2002)
* C. S. Lewis ("Shadowlands", 1993),
* David Lloyd George ("Young Winston", 1972)
* Marcus Crassus ("Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus", 1992)
* Burt Munro ("The World's Fastest Indian", 2005)
* Richard Nixon ("Nixon", 1995)
* Othello ("Othello", 1981)
* Paul the Apostle ("Peter and Paul", 1981)
* Pablo Picasso ("Surviving Picasso", 1996)
* Ptolemy I Soter ("Alexander", 2004)
* Quasimodo ("The Hunchback of Notre Dame", 1982)
* Yitzak Rabin ("Victory at Entebbe", 1976)
* Richard Lionheart ("The Lion in Winter", 1968)
* Titus Andronicus ("Titus", 1999)
* Frederick Treves ("The Elephant Man", 1980)
* Don Diego de la Vega/Zorro ("The Mask of Zorro", 1998)


Besides his win for "The Silence of the Lambs", Hopkins has been Oscar-nominated for "The Remains of the Day" (1993), "Nixon" (1995) and "Amistad" (1997).

Hopkins won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in 1973 for his performance as Pierre Bezukhov in the BBC's production of "War and Peace", and additionally for "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Shadowlands". He received nominations in the same category for "Magic" and "The Remains of the Day" and as Best Supporting Actor for "The Lion in Winter".

He won Emmy Awards for his roles in "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case" and "The Bunker", and was Emmy-nominated for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Great Expectations". [cite web | url=| publisher=IMDb | title=Anthony Hopkins: Awards| accessdate=2007-05-21] He won the directing and the acting award, both for "Slipstream", at Switzerland's Locarno International Film Festival.

Hopkins became a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in February 2008. [cite web | url=| publisher=BAFTA | title=Orange British Academy Film Awards| accessdate=2008-06-17]



External links

* [ Anthony Hopkins] , Giant of the Valley - By Michael Feeney Callan, 2007 Voyager Magazine
* [] , Anthony Hopkins interviewed on HTV-Wales program Elinor in the 1980s
* [] , An Evening with Anthony Hopkins HTV-Wales
* [] , Early voice-over on HTV-Wales programme
* [,289,BA.html Anthony Hopkins, BAFTA Fellow in 2008]
* [,288,BA.html Fellow Man - Anthony Hopkins] , BAFTA profile by film writer Quentin Falk

NAME=Hopkins, Anthony
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Hopkins, Philip Anthony (full name)
DATE OF BIRTH=Birth date and age|df=yes|1937|12|31
PLACE OF BIRTH=Margam, Port Talbot, Wales

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