Anthony Hopkins, born in 1937 to Welsh parents, has been entertaining people through his performances since he was 15.
Actor Anthony Hopkins, 83, won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the Oscars on April 25, 2021, making history with his second Oscar victory. He initially was the oldest Best Actor nominee when the 2021 Oscar nominations were announced earlier this year. This was his sixth nomination and second win. He beat out fellow nominees Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Gary Oldman, and Steven Yeun, as per People.
Hopkins won the award for the film, The Father,for the role of an 80-year-old man with dementia. The Welsh actor's first win was at the 64th Academy Awards for his role as the expert psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs opposite Oscar winner Jodie Foster.
The actor didn't attend the ceremony, just like last year when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Two Popes. He did not attend the BAFTAs in 2021 either, where he won Best Actor. It is understandable that he chose to miss out on these public events owing to the pandemic. His age puts him in the high-risk category.
However, he has also revealed in the past that the awards circuit doesn't interest him. "Having to be nice to people and to be charming and flirting with them…oh, come on! People go out of their way to flatter the nominating body and I think it’s kind of disgusting. That’s always been against my nature," said Hopkins in 2012 to HuffPost. "People groveling around and kissing the backsides of famous producers and all that. It makes me want to throw up, it really does," he had said.
The actor was born on December 31, 1937, to Richard Hopkins, a baker, and his wife Muriel. He had a lonely childhood and often felt isolated, as per Notable Biographies. He did not do well at his Cowbridge Grammar School. He felt attracted to the world of theatre after meeting fellow Port Talbot native Richard Burton (1925–1984). After getting his autograph, Hopkins decided he too wanted to be famous.
He had enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama when he was only 15, writes Biography. He graduated in 1957 and spent two years in the British Army before joining the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The actor worked in theatre before pursuing a career in movies in the late 1960s. He gained fame through various projects like The Dawning, The Remains of the Day, Amistad.
He became a protégé of the legendary actor Sir Laurence Olivier, who asked him to join the Royal National Theatre in 1965 and become his understudy. His career in films began in the 1970s and he started gaining fame in the late 1970s. He won an Emmy for his role as Bruno Richard Hauptmann in The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1976). He has won multiple Emmys, BAFTAs, and now Oscars too.
During most of that time, he was also battling alcoholism, which affected his personal life. "I led a pretty self-destructive life for a few decades. It was only after I put my demons behind me that I was able to fully enjoy acting," he once said. He started attending Alcoholics Anonymous in 1975 and was able to battle his addiction.
Hopkins has been married three times. He married his third wife, antique dealer Stella Arroyave, who hails from Colombia, in 2003. Previously, he was married to Jennifer Lynton, from 1973 to 2002, and before that to Petronella Barker, from 1967 to 1972. He and Barker had one daughter, Abigail Hopkins, born in 1968. They have a fraught relationship that has never been repaired.
He recently said that the topic of his daughter was "taboo." "I want no word on that," he told The Sunday Times Magazine. Later, he said, "The past is sealed. I have regrets. You can't undo things. You have to get on with life - live it and don't look back."
Other Oscar 2021 award winners include: Daniel Kaluuya for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Frances McDormand for Best Actress, Youn Yuh-jung won Best Supporting Actress. Best Picture went to Nomadland and Best Director award was won by Chloé Zhao. The full list can be found here.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Evening Standard (R) Frederick M. Brown