To millions, he’s still that abominable figure obsessed with the notion of devouring the perpetually rude. But to others, he’s Anthony Hopkins, the beloved actor who stands poised to celebrate a very special milestone.
Happy Birthday, Anthony Hopkins!
And that’s because he was born on December 31, 1937, in Port Talbot, Wales, which means that this uber-talented performer is turning 83 years old today! Hopkins toiled in the repertory company at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London until he so impressed Sir Laurence Olivier that he was recruited to join the Royal National Theatre.
Hopkins served as Olivier’s understudy and filled in for the actor when he was struck down by appendicitis during the 1967 production of August Strindberg’s The Dance of Death. Decades later, Hopkins would duplicate the voice of his late mentor when deleted scenes featuring Olivier were re-added to a special cut of the 1960 film Spartacus.
Subsequent to his success in the theatre, Hopkins yearned for stardom in the motion picture industry. Though he had appeared in two short films titled Changes (1964) and The White Bus (1965), his first starring role would be in 1968’s The Lion in Winter, a historical drama featuring Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn.
Hopkins also appeared in films such as Hamlet (1969), When Eight Bells Toll (1971), chiller Audrey Rose (1977), David Lynch’s The Elephant Man (1980), and The Dawning (1988).
On the small screen, he was in a number of critically acclaimed and high rated miniseries and made-for-TV movies including the 1970s’ The Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens (in which he, of course, played the title character), the BBC’s adaptation of War and Peace (1972), and QB VII (1974).
In 1991, Hopkins accepted the role for which he will always be associated: cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs. For his electric portrayal, Hopkins would receive both the Academy Award and the BAFTA for Best Actor – quite the achievement considering his scenes constituted a mere 16 minutes of the film’s 118-minute run time.
Hopkins would reprise the Lecter character twice. First, in Ridley Scott’s sequel Hannibal (2001), and then in Red Dragon (2002), a prequel film. In the proceeding years, the American Film Institute would rank Hopkins interpretation of the character number one on their list of Top 100 Film Villains.
Hopkins’ other film endeavors include Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), the Merchant Ivory features Howards End (1992) and Remains of the Day (1993), Amistad (1997), The Mask of Zorro (1998), and The Rite (2011).
During the filming of Amistad, Hopkins reportedly astounded the crew by delivering a seven-page courtroom scene in one go – an action that would earn him the undying respect of director Steven Spielberg, who insisted on referring to the actor as Sir Anthony for the remainder of the shoot.
Outside of his acting prowess, Hopkins is known for his musical compositions, his directorial efforts – which include the films Dylan Thomas: Return Journey (1990), and August (1995) – and his philanthropy. He also revealed this week another milestone when he shared on social media the following: “With gratitude, I celebrate 45 years of sobriety.”
Entertainment Hub would like to wish Anthony Hopkins a very happy birthday, and you can too by clicking on the Twitter link below.
With gratitude, I celebrate 45 years of sobriety. pic.twitter.com/fxzMRGlI4m
— Anthony Hopkins (@AnthonyHopkins) December 29, 2020