Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins was born December 31st, 1937, in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales. At a young age, Hopkins was encouraged to become an actor by fellow countryman Richard Burton, and thus attended the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, Wales before moving to London to be trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Like many young actors, he got his start in theater and worked for a time as Sir Laurence Olivier’s understudy. In 1968, he got his first big break on the big screen, starring opposite Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, and Timothy Dalton in The Lion in Winter.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, Hopkins would continue to gain success in multiple television movies and series, and starred in several films including A Bridge Too Far (1977) and The Elephant Man (1980). Throughout the 90s, however, Hopkins evolved into one of our greatest stars of the big screen, beginning with his Academy Award winning performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991; a role that he would later reprise twice in Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002)). A few of his best films of the 90s include Howard’s End (1992), Dracula (1992), Chaplin (1992), The Remains of the Day (1993; for which he received his 2nd Oscar nomination), Legends of the Fall (1994), Nixon (1995; for which he received his 3rd Oscar nomination), and Amistad (1997; for which he received his 4th, and most recent, Oscar nomination). Hopkins was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993 for services to the arts.
Along with earning US citizenship and receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hopkins remained busy throughout the 00s, starring in at least one form of film production every single year of the decade. Some of his more memorable films in this period include the previously mentioned Lecter films, The Human Stain (2003), The World’s Fastest Indian (2005), Bobby (2006), and Beowulf (2007). He starred as Odin, the father to the titular hero Thor (2011), and will reprise the role in Thor: The Dark World (which has begun filming). In 2012 he played the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock.
A few of his other upcoming projects include Red 2 (2013?), starring as Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway and Fuentes (?), and playing Methuselah in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014?).
My Circuit 3 for Anthony Hopkins:
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
- The Lion in Winter (1968)
- The Elephant Man (1980)
What are your three favorite/best Hopkins films? You can view his entire filmography here.