Anthony Hopkins


Photo: Anthony Hopkins

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Biography of Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins … Oh, that Oscar-winning fixed look of cold eyes and the thin, ironic smile of Hannibal Lecter! The American Academy awarded him a prize for the best male role of a serial maniac in the film The Silence of the Lambs, experiencing shock and even fear no longer in front of the character, but the genius of the actor.

Pictured: Anthony Hopkins

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth, Sir Anthony considers it bad form to trump the title in the acting environment, but with pleasure infuriates pathos Hollywood stars, recalling his origin as the son of a baker. The artist and composer, director and actor – Hopkins still amazes the audience with irrepressible energy and new roles.

Childhood: Margam – Pontypool

A family of bakers from Wales – Richard Arthur and Muriel Ann Hopkins – hardly imagined what fate awaited their son, who was born on the last day of 1937. The child’s home schooling revealed that he had congenital dyslexia. The father, a quick-tempered man, but at the same time cold, sent the boy to a closed school in the city of Pontypool, hoping that in the staff of the educational institution John West Monmouth Anthony would get rid of a strange illness.

Anthony Hopkins in childhood (pictured right with his mother)

As the actor himself recalls, at school he was a real jerk-loser. He could not and did not want to communicate with peers, study was difficult, the teenager understood little.

Only in his eighties did Hopkins find out that he had an autism spectrum disorder, and that it interfered with his studies.

Nevertheless, he stayed at this best Welsh school for boys for almost three years, during which he made his first independent decision: his future profession would be creative. You can make good money playing the piano or drawing, a twelve-year-old boy decided for himself. But life decreed otherwise.

Youth: Wales – London

A chance acquaintance with the rising star of English cinema, Richard Burton, and the latter’s advice to try his hand at an acting career, Hopkins took with enthusiasm. Having won a grant for education, in 1955 Anthony became a student at the College of Acting. The young man’s desire to take revenge on everyone who laughed at him at school played an important role in the fact that he graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Drama with honors.

Anthony Hopkins in the boys’ school and in the army (right photo)

After several years of military service, Anthony went to London to study at the Royal Academy of Drama. Having become a certified theater actor, the twenty-eight-year-old Hopkins worked part-time on the stage of the Royal National Theater as an understudy for the brilliant Laurence Olivier. Theatrical experience brought him several significant roles, for example, in the performances of “Dance of Death”, “Anthony and Cleopatra”. But Anthony dreams of a film career, the theater is not the limit of his dreams.

Career: America – Hollywood

With the role of Prince Richard in The Lion in Winter (which starred the legendary Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole) and several episodes, Hopkins moved to America, where he was invited to play Philip Calvert in the action-adventure When Eight Vials Breaks. . Then there was Pierre Bezukhov in a serial television film performed by Anthony. For this role, as the best male actor, the actor received a BAFTA television award.

Anthony Hopkins in The Lion in Winter

Greedy in his work, Hopkins took on all the proposed roles, hoping, like a prospector in a mine, to stumble one day on a gold bar. But for the time being, he is also happy with small spools: the drama “A Doll’s House” (1973), the thriller “The Case of the Lindbergh Kidnapping” (1976, Emmy), the military-historical film “A Bridge Too Far” (1977), the psychological drama “Another’s Daughter” ( 1977), mystical thriller “Magic” (1978).

“Don’t ask for anything, don’t expect anything.” Here is my creed. We humans are just a bunch of sinners walking in the dark.”

In 1980, David Lynch invited Anthony to the ambitious project “The Elephant Man” for the role of surgeon Frederick Treves. Claimed for an Oscar in eight nominations, the film was eventually awarded only by the British Academy and the French Cesar.

Anthony Hopkins on Larry King

Then there were the roles of Hitler (“Bunker” by George Schaefer), for which the actor was awarded an Emmy, Quasimodo (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Michael Tuchner), Ravik (from “Arc de Triomphe” by Waris Hussein). In the eighties, Hopkins filmed a lot and productively, in anticipation of his main role.

Anthony Hopkins in the movie Bunker

And in the early nineties, on the set of Jonathan Demme’s thriller The Silence of the Lambs, as he would later be called, the No. 1 villain of all time, Hannibal Lecter, appeared on the set. As Hopkins would later say, as soon as he flipped through the script, he instinctively knew that this was the role.

Anthony Hopkins and his “Oscar” for the role of Hannibal Lecter

It is in this film that he has that unique fixed look and mysterious smirk with which he elicits from FBI cadet Clarissa, brilliantly played by Jodie Foster, her childhood memories of escaping from her foster parents’ house in an attempt to save a lamb from slaughter. The film was a revelation, collecting five Oscars in 1992, which has not happened at the academy since 1934.

Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs

Unlike many colleagues, Anthony Hopkins did not relax after the Oscar-winning role. The nineties are marked by many interesting works. So, in Francis Ford Coppola’s horror film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, he plays Professor Van Helsing. Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman are playing on the site with the already famous actor. In Lee Tamahori’s adventure drama On the Edge, Hopkins stars with Elle MacPherson and Alec Baldwin. The audience was also shocked by Martin Brest’s psychological drama Meet Joe Black, where young Brad Pitt became Anthony’s partner.

Anthony Hopkins about love. Scene from the movie “Meet Joe Black”

Hopkins himself considers successful his roles in the films “Nixon” by Oliver Stone, where he plays the president, “The Rest of the Day” by James Ivory, where Emma Thompson became his partner on the site, “The Fastest Indian” by Roger Donaldson, where he got the role of a motorcycle racer. The actor notes the lightness and fun that reigned on the set. Of course, the actor’s favorite role, which he uses twice more in the films Hannibal and Red Dragon, is Dr. Lecter.

Anthony Hopkins in the movie Hannibal

Nevertheless, Sir Anthony continues to work actively in the 2000s. In the creative fantasy television series Westworld by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the viewer remembers the vivid and complex image of Robert Ford, a doctor and at the same time the initiator of the creation of an amusement park, served by androids. The adventures of Sir Edmund Burton delighted fans of Hopkins’ diverse acting talent in the fantastic crypto story Transformers. The Last Knight by Michael Bay.

Anthony Hopkins and Mark Wahlberg in Transformers. The Last Knight”

Mysticism, crimes, extrasensory perception accompany Hopkins in the films “Fracture”, “Wolfman”, “Rite”, “Beowulf”, “Psychics”. Anthony’s exuberant energy spills over into writing and directing the arthouse film Whirlwind, in which Hopkins plays an aging screenwriter on the edge between reality and illusion. Anthony invited his wife Stella Arroyave, Christian Slater, Mark Clark Duncan, Epata Merkerson to the picture. Whirlwind is Hopkins’ third directorial effort, preceded by Chekhov’s August (1996) and Dylan Thomas: The Return Journey (1990). He also wrote the music for all his films himself.

Despite his considerable age, Hopkins continues to act, although not as intensively as before. A curious incident occurred recently on the set of the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, where the actor had the main role. Working on the site of the English town of Stevenage, Anthony got used to the role so much that a local compassionate lady offered to help him get to the local hostel.

“King Lear” – trailer

I must say, the classic is adapted to today’s (albeit hypothetical) England, where Hopkin’s Lear is a military dictator. The three daughters in the film are played by Florence Pugh, Emily Watson and Emma Thompson. The script was written by Richard Eyre, who also directed the film, which was released in the fall of 2018.

Sir Anthony Hopkins – a brilliant actor, despite his age, continues to act

Also in 2017, the actor got a role in the HBO series Westworld. In the second season, his character surprised the audience with an unexpectedly realistic rejuvenation with the help of computer-generated effects.

Westworld (season 2 trailer)

Now Anthony Hopkins prefers to live the way he likes, he is more interested in relationships with his wife, memoirs, painting and music than filming a movie. As he himself says: “When you are young, you take on any role – because you are afraid that it will go to another, it will become his “finest hour”. Now I don’t care. I’m going my own way.”

Personal life: three marriages, painting and music

Petronella Barker, theater actress, sunk into Anthony’s soul in 1967. A year after the wedding, the couple in love had a daughter, who was named Abigail. Like many acting families, the young could not stand the constant business trips of one or the other, besides, Hopkins was overly carried away by alcohol. Barker was not one of those women who would put up with such “weaknesses”, she left Anthony with her daughter.

Anthony Hopkins and his first wife Petronella Barker

The actor, without thinking twice, married Jennifer Linton, his own secretary. Life in the second marriage was not cloudless, and after the role of Hannibal, the second wife completely refused to live in the same house with the “serial maniac” and left him in 1995. Then they again converged, diverged, until they filed an official divorce in 2002.

Anthony Hopkins and his second wife Jennifer Linton

Anthony attended Alcoholics Anonymous, where he met actress Joyce Ingalls and had an affair with her for a couple of years. Hopkins is also credited with having an affair with singer Francis Kay.

Anthony Hopkins with wife Stella Arroyave

The third wife, Stella Arroyave, with whom Anthony signed in 2003, he met in an antique shop in South Africa. After a year and a half of courtship, Stella acquired the official status of a spouse and the couple moved to Malibu. As Hopkins admits, it was she who made his life more calm and balanced. In addition, the woman, admiring her husband’s paintings, forced him to develop another talent – the painter. Previously, the actor called his work “daub” and stored the paintings in the basement. Now they can be seen at exhibitions. Anthony, inspired by his personal Muse, even wrote a waltz, which can be heard performed by the world-famous violinist Andre Rieu.

Waltz by Anthony Hopkins performed by the André Rieu Orchestra

Anthony Hopkins now

In April 2024, Hopkins received the second Oscar of his career – for his role in the film Father, in which the actor played an elderly man with dementia. The film was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences, and Hopkins became the oldest actor in film history to win an Academy Award. The actor ignored the award ceremony – Joaquin Phoenix received the statuette for him. Not without controversy: the late Chadwick Boseman was among the nominees, and many viewers were convinced that the right decision was to give him the Oscar posthumously.

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