Born: December 31, 1937
SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS
Date of Birth: December 31, 1937
He was born Philip Anthony Hopkins in Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, South Wales. He readily admits being a poor student: "I was lousy in school. Real screwed-up. A moron. I was antisocial and didn't bother with the other kids. I didn't know what I was doing there. That's why I became an actor."
In spite of his inauspicious academic beginnings, he attended the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and later studied with Sir Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre.
His list of achievements is prodigious. He won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Bruno Hauptmann in the 1976 television production The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1976). This was followed by an Emmy award-winning role as Adolf Hitler in The Bunker (1981). Probably his most notable performance was as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, for which he received a Best Actor Oscar.
In addition to winning numerous awards for his work in films, Hopkins was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1987. Six years later, he was knighted. A year after that, Sir Anthony Hopkins was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters at the University of Wales, a stunning denouement for someone labeled a "slow learner."
"I'm still waiting," he says, "for God to tell me, 'What do you think you're doing? ... This is a mistake. We meant Tomkins, not Hopkins.'"
This versatile actor has continued to land a wide variety of roles. Some of his more recent titles include You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) alongside Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin, Thor (2011) co-starring Chris Hemsworth, the 2012 drama 360 and the action film RED 2 (2013). Hopkins also plays the iconic filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in the biopic Hitchcock (2013). He most recently starred in Noah alongside Russell Crowe.
His most hard-won victory was overcoming alcoholism in 1975. Sir Anthony Hopkins is also a piano virtuoso and the father of Abigal Harrison, his daughter from his 5-year marriage to Petronella Parker. He married third wife, Stella Arroyave, on March 1, 2003. Later that year, on September 24th, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also has a wax figure of himself at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Amsterdam.
* 1991 Actor in a Leading Role Oscar winner for The Silence of The Lambs.