Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor of film, stage and television. He is considered as one of the greatest living actors. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about him!
1.He was born on December 31, 1937.
2. Anthony Hopkins was born on New Year’s Eve 1937, in Margam, a suburb of Port Talbot, Glamorgan.
3. His parents are Annie Muriel and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker.
4. 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.
5. In 1949, to instill discipline, his parents insisted he attend Jones’ West Monmouth Boys’ School in Pontypool. He remained there for five terms and was then educated at Cowbridge Grammar School in the Vale of Glamorgan.
6. Anthony Hopkins was influenced and encouraged by Welsh compatriot Richard Burton, whom he met at the age of 15.
7. Anthony Hopkins promptly enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, from which he graduated in 1957.
8. After two years in the British Army doing his national service, he moved to London, where he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
9. Anthony Hopkins made his first professional stage appearance in the Palace Theatre, Swansea, in 1960 with Swansea Little Theatre’s production of Have a Cigarette.
10. In 1965, after several years in repertory, he was spotted by Laurence Olivier, who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre in London
11. Anthony 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.
12. 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.”
13. Despite his success at the National, Hopkins tired of repeating the same roles nightly and yearned to be in films. He made his small-screen debut in a 1967 BBC broadcast of A Flea in Her Ear. His first starring role in a film came in 1964 in Changes, a short directed by Drewe Henley, written and produced by James Scott and co-starring Jacqueline Pearce.
14. Although Hopkins continued in theatre (most notably at the National Theatre as Lambert Le Roux in Pravda by David Hare and Howard Brenton and as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra opposite Judi Dench as well as in the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus) he gradually moved away from it to become more established as a television and film actor.
15. 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).
16. In 1972 he starred as WWI British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in Young Winston, and in 1977 he played British Army officer John Frost in Richard Attenborough’s WWII film A Bridge Too Far.
17. In 1980, he starred in The Elephant Man as the English doctor Sir Frederick Treves, who attends to Joseph Merrick (portrayed by John Hurt), a severely deformed man in 19th century London.
18. That year he also starred opposite Shirley MacLaine in A Change of Seasons and famously said “she was the most obnoxious actress I have ever worked with.”
19. Anthony Hopkins was Britain’s highest paid performer in 1998, starring in The Mask of Zorro and Meet Joe Black, and also agreed to reprise his role as Dr Hannibal Lecter for a fee of £15 million.
20. In 2000, Hopkins narrated Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Hopkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
21. Anthony 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.
22. The film won Best Picture, Best Director and Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Hopkins reprised his role as Lecter twice; in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal (2001), and Red Dragon (2002).
23. His original portrayal of the character in The Silence of the Lambs has been labelled by the AFI as the number-one film villain.
24. 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.”
25. Anthony Hopkins played the iconic villain in adaptations of the first three of the Lecter novels by Thomas Harris.
26. 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.
27. Anthony Hopkins is renowned for his preparation for roles. He indicated 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”.
28. 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.
29. Hopkins has stated that after he is finished with a scene, he simply discards the lines, not remembering them later on. This is unlike others who usually remember their lines from a film, even years later.
30. Anthony Hopkins was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1987, and was knighted at Buckingham Palace in 1993 for services to the arts.
31. In 1988, Hopkins was made an Honorary D.Litt and in 1992 was awarded Honorary fellowship from the University of Wales, Lampeter.
32. He was made a freeman of his hometown Port Talbot in 1996.
33. Anthony Hopkins resides in Malibu, California.
34. He had moved to the US once before during the late 1970s to pursue his film career, but returned to London in the late 1980s.
35. However, he decided to return to the US following his 1990s success.
36. Retaining his British citizenship, he became a naturalised US citizen on 12 April 2000, with Hopkins stating: “I have dual citizenship, it just so happens I live in America”.
37. Anthony Hopkins has been married three times. His first two wives were Petronella Barker from 1966 to 1972, and Jennifer Lynton from 1973 to 2002.
38. He has a daughter from his first marriage, actress and singer Abigail Hopkins (born 20 August 1968).
39. He married Stella Arroyave in 2003. On Christmas Eve 2012, he celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary by having a blessing at a private service at St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire in the most westerly point of Wales.
40. Anthony 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.
41. In 1998 he donated £1 million towards the £3 million needed to aid the Trust’s efforts in purchasing parts of Snowdon.
42. Prior to the campaign, Hopkins authored Anthony Hopkins’ Snowdonia, which was published in 1995.
43. Due to his contributions to Snowdonia, in addition to his film career, in 2004 Hopkins was named among the 100 Welsh Heroes in a Welsh poll.
44. Anthony Hopkins has been a patron of the YMCA centre in his hometown of Port Talbot, South Wales for more than 20 years, having first joined the YMCA in the 1950s.
45. He supports other various philanthropic groups. He was a Guest of Honour at a Gala Fundraiser for Women in Recovery, Inc., a Venice, California-based non-profit organisation offering rehabilitation assistance to women in recovery from substance abuse.
46. He is also a volunteer teacher at the Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, California. Hopkins served as the Honorary Patron of The New Heritage Theatre Company in Boise, Idaho from 1997-2007, participating in fundraising and marketing efforts for the repertory theatre.
47. Hopkins is a recovering alcoholic; he stopped drinking just after Christmas 1975.
48. He said that a major help in his recovery was his belief in God.
49. He has criticised atheism, saying “being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows”.
50. He quit smoking using the Allen Carr method.
51. In 2008, he embarked on a weight loss programme, and by 2010, he had lost 80 pounds.
52. Anthony Hopkins contributed toward the refurbishment of a £2.3 million wing at his alma mater, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, named the Anthony Hopkins Centre. It opened in 1999.
53. Anthony 5Hopkins 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 hunt.
54. He has also 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.
55. Hopkins is an admirer of the Welsh comedian Tommy Cooper.
56 On 23 February 2008, as patron of the Tommy Cooper Society, he unveiled a commemorative statue in the entertainer’s home town of Caerphilly. For the ceremony, he donned Cooper’s trademark fez and performed a comic routine.
57. Along with his Academy Award, Hopkins has won three BAFTA Awards, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
58. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.
59. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
60. He was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2008.