- Dec 31, 1937
- Margam, Port Talbot, Wales
Bio: Hopkins was born in Margam, near Port Talbot, Wales. His parents were the late Richard Arthur Hopkins and Muriel Yeats, a distant relation of 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… More Bio: Hopkins was born in Margam, near Port Talbot, Wales. His parents were the late Richard Arthur Hopkins and Muriel Yeats, a distant relation of 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 that he attend West Monmouth boarding school in Pontypool. He remained there for five terms, of which Hopkins does not have fond memories. He was then educated at Cowbridge Grammar School.
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 College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, from which he graduated in 1957. After a two-year spell in the army, he moved to London where he trained at RADA, at the suggestion of Roy Marsden.
In 1965, after several years spent performing and honing his craft in repertory, he was spotted by Laurence Olivier, who invited him to join the National Theatre. Hopkins was given the opportunity to be Olivier's understudy, and got his chance to shine when the actor was struck down with appendicitis during a production of August Strindberg's The Dance of Death.
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 his estranged lover, Philip II of France. Although Hopkins continued in theatre (most notably 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. He has since gone on to enjoy a long career, winning many plaudits for his performances.
He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1987, and a Knight Bachelor in 1993. In 1996 Hopkins was awarded an honorary fellowship from the University of Wales, Lampeter.
Today, Hopkins also takes time to support 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. He is also a volunteer teacher at the Ruskins School of Acting in Santa Monica, California, where he resides.
He 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 the Snowdonia National Park and to aid the Trust's efforts to purchase parts of Snowdon. A book celebrating these efforts, Anthony Hopkins' Snowdonia, was published together with Graham Nobles.
In 2006, Hopkins was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
Hopkins has been wed three times. His first two wives were Petronella Barker (1967-1972) and Jennifer Lynton (1973-2003). He is now married to Colombian-born Stella Arroyave. He has a daughter, Abigail Hopkins (born 1968), from his first marriage who is an actress and singer.
Hopkins now resides in the United States. He had moved there once before during the 1970s to pursue his film career, but returned to Britain in the late 1980s, believing that he'd achieved all he could in Hollywood. However, he decided to go back to the USA following his 1990s success. He became a naturalized citizen on April 12, 2000. He celebrated this with a 3,000-mile road trip across the country. As a dual national, despite some initial controversy, he retains his knighthood and uses the title 'Sir' in the UK. He has never used it in the U.S. and, in taking the oath to become an American citizen, Hopkins pledged to "renounce the title of nobility to which I have heretofore belonged." Hopkins has also stated that he only accepted the knighthood to make his wife happy. Disappointment and outrage ensued in his native land of Wales over his American citizenship. In common with other British theatrical knights, the title is omitted for professional credits.
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