ANTHONY HOPKINS Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Philip Anthony Hopkins                                                             
Born: 31 December 1937 Port Talbot, Wales                                               
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins (born December 31, 1937) is an Academy Award-,               
Golden Globe-, double Emmy-, triple BAFTA- and Saturn Award-winning Welsh film,         
stage and television actor, arguably best known for his portrayal of Hannibal           
Lecter in the 1991 blockbuster The Silence of the Lambs. Other notable film             
credits include The Elephant Man, Dracula, The Remains of the Day, The Mask of           
Zorro and Fracture. Hopkins was born and raised in Wales, and also became a U.S.         
citizen on 12 April 2000. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film           
and Television Arts in 2008.                                                             
Hopkins was born in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales, the son of Muriel Anne (née             
Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. 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           
Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales from which he graduated in           
1957. After a two-year spell in the Army, he moved to London where he trained at         
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".           
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 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 in 1987, and a Knight                 
Bachelor in 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.                                                                         
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.