Philip Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales. Anthony Hopkins pursued a stage career before working in film in the late ’60s. His early years in Wales and schooling at Cowbridge Grammar School were relatively unremarkable, but when the soon-to-be actor met Richard Burton, the course of his life would dramatically change.
He starred in a Broadway production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus(1974) even as he devoted more and more attention to developing his talents for television and film. His method of preparation for roles has always been a source of fascination to critics and young actors alike.
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.
Many successes came later, and Hopkins’ remarkable acting style reached the four corners of the world. In 1977, he appeared in two major films: A Bridge Too Far (1977) with James Caan, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Elliott Gould and Laurence Olivier, and Maximilian Schell.
In 1980, he worked on The Elephant Man (1980). Two good television literature adaptations followed: Othello (1981) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982). He acted, he says, “out of perverseness and sheer rebellion toward the English Establishment.
I was saying, ‘That’s all crap over there.’ That was my cynical way of protesting too much.” For ten years, from 1975 to 1985, Hopkins undertook over 25 movies made for either television or theatrical release.
During this time, he earned an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Bruno Hauptmann, in the 1976 television movie The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case and for his portrayal of Hitler in the 1981 television movie The Bunker.
In 1993, Hopkins was knighted by the British Empire. In April 2000, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States and, in 2002; he married his third wife, Colombian-born Stella Arroyave.
On 24 February 2010, it was announced that Hopkins had been cast in the supernatural thriller The Rite, which was released on the 28th of January 2011. He played a priest who is “an expert in exorcisms and whose methods are not necessarily traditional”.
Hopkins is a recovering alcoholic; he stopped drinking on 25 December 1975.He said that a major help in his recovery was his belief in God.He has also criticised atheism, saying “being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows”.
In 2006, he was awarded the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Considered to be one of the greatest living actors, Hopkins is well known for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, its sequel Hannibal, and the prequel Red Dragon.