Home Celebrities 31 Awe-Inspiring Facts About Anthony Hopkins We Bet You Didn’t Know Before

31 Awe-Inspiring Facts About Anthony Hopkins We Bet You Didn’t Know Before


For nearly six decades, the legendary actor Anthony Hopkins has gifted us a great time with his mere presence and incredible talent. One of the greatest actors in Hollywood, there is no doubt that he has made his mark with impressive characterizations. Here are some wonderful facts about the renowned actor that will make you love him more:

  1. Philip Anthony Hopkins, was born on December 31, 1937, in Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Wales, as an only child of Annie Muriel and Richard Arthur Hopkins.
  2. On his own account, he was a clumsy, chunky lad with poor grades at school. His helplessness added to his inferiority complex, and convinced him that he was stupid. His real talent was for drinking Indian ink, which impressed his school mates but not the teachers.
  3. He attended Jones West Monmouth Boys’ School and Cowbridge Grammar School in the Vale of Glamorgan. He later graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff in 1957 and served two years with British Army on mandatory national service.
  4. Hopkins honed his skill at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London and joined the Royal National Theatre, as an understudy to Laurence Oliver. Earlier in his childhood he was inspired by Richard Burton, with whom he had a chance meeting at the age of 15.
  5. Though he made his professional stage appearance in the play ‘Have a Cigarette,’ at Palace Theatre, Swansea, in 1960, he got his big break in 1967, replacing hospitalized Oliver in Strindberg’s ‘Dance of Death.’
  6. On September 2, 1966, Hopkins married actress Petronella Barker, the daughter of comedy actor Eric Barker and actress Pearl Hackney, at St. Mary’s, Stalisfield. They have one daughter, the actress and singer-songwriter Abigail Hopkins.
  7. A self-described ‘antisocial moron,’ Hopkins was prone to churlishness and boozing. In 1969, he walked out on his wife and their 14-month old daughter, which culminated into divorce in 1972. He also once walked out on a production of ‘Macbeth,’ at the National Theatre.
  8. Hopkins is recovering alcoholic and has stayed sober since he stopped drinking just after Christmas 1975. At times he will sit at home without saying a word and then climb in his car, cruise aimlessly for days or months at a stretch.
  9. He made his television debut as Stephen in two episodes of ‘A Matter of Degree,’ in 1960 and followed it up with ‘The Man in Room 17,’ as Dr. Harding, in 1965.
  10. Hopkins, made his theatrical film debut as Brechtian in the 1967 drama film ‘The White Bus,’ by Lindsay Anderson, and his first starring role came in the film ‘Changes,’ co-starring Jacqueline Pearce.
  11. June 7, 1967, marked his small screen movie debut playing Etienne Plucheux in the BBC broadcast production ‘A Flea in Her Ear,’ and continued to appear in number of TV series including ‘The company of Five,’ ‘Department S,’ and ‘ITV Sunday Night Theatre.’
  12. Hopkins earned his first recognition in the form of ‘BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role,’ nomination in 1968, playing Richard the Lionheart in the American-British historical drama film ‘The Lion in Winter,’ directed by Anthony Harvey.
  13. Hopkins expressed anxiety during the making of ‘The Lion in Winter,’ his first full-length theatrical movie in a major role. He was advised by his co-star Katharine Hepburn, ‘Don’t act, leave that to me. You have got a good face, good voice, and a big body, just speak the line.’ This was regarded as the best acting advice of his life.
  14. He continued to appear for the National Theatre in play such as ‘Pravda,’ as Lambert Le Roux and as Antony in ‘Antony and Cleopatra,’ opposite Judi Dench. He was also in the Broadway Production of Peter Shaffer’s ‘Equus,’ as Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist and won ‘Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor.’
  15. Hopkins is the youngest actors, at thirty-one-years-old, to have played Claudius in a production of ‘Hamlet.’ In can be gauged from the fact that, he played Nicole Williamson’s uncle in the film, who was just fourteen months his junior.
  16. He plays British Agent Philip Calvert in the 1971 film ‘When Eight Bells Toll.’ He was all set to replace Sir Sean Connery, as James Bond, but the box-office failure scrapped any plan for future entries.
  17. Hopkins gradually established himself as a television and film actor. He portrayed Charles Dickens in the BBC television film ‘The Great Inimitable Mr. Dickens, as Steve in ‘The Ten Commandments,’ and as Pierre Bezukhov in an another BBC’s mini-series ‘War and Peace.’
  18. In 1972, he starred as British politician David Lloyd George in ‘Young Winston,’ the first of five films in which he collaborated with Richard Attenborough. The others being ‘Magic,’ ‘A Bridge Too Far,’ ‘Chaplin,’ and ‘Shadowlands.’
  19. He has the distinction of playing many historical figures in movies and miniseries. His character includes Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Nixon, John Quincy Adams, Charles Dickens, Adolf Hitler, Yitzhak Rabin, Pablo Picasso, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, David Lloyd George, Frederick Treves, Lieutenant Colonel Frost, Lieutenant William Bligh, Frank P. Doel, C.S. Lewis, Count Galeazzo Ciano, John Harvey Kellogg, and Burt Munro.
  20. In order to understand the character Kostya, in the 1974 film ‘The Girl from Petrovka,’ Hopkins, scouted London bookshops for copy of the novel upon which the movie was based. He had no luck, but found a copy lying on a bench at the station, which turned out to be the author George Feifer’s missing copy.
  21. In 1978 film ‘Magic,’ Hopkins learned magic tricks and studied the art of ventriloquist to play the character. He was allowed to take the doll home to work with it, but was so unnerved by it, that he called the consulting ventriloquist in the middle of the night. He was calmed down by the director Sir Richard Attenborough.
  22. He was nominated for the first time for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, for the film ‘The Remains of the Day.’ He got the tips on how to play a butler from real -life butler Cyril Dickman, who served for fifty years at the Buckingham Palace.
  23. Hopkins won his first and only Oscar for Best Actor, for his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, in the 1991 movie ‘The Silence of the Lambs.’ With twenty-four minutes and fifty-two seconds of screen time, his performance in this movie is the second shortest to win an Oscar.
  24. He was suffering from a slipped disc throughout filming of adventure drama film ‘The Edge,’ but he incorporated the pain he felt from this into his performance. The painkillers for this problem became fatal, when he fell in a river and didn’t feel how cold he was becoming and began to suffer from hypothermia.
  25. In 2006, Hopkins was recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and in 2008, he was bestowed with ‘BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award,’ the highest award the British Film Academy can bestow.
  26. He had been composing music all through his life and released a single ‘Distant Star,’ in 1986, which peaked at No.75 in the UK Singles Chart. His directional debut was also about poet Dylan Thomas, titled ‘Dylan Thomas: Return Journey.’
  27. His philanthropic work includes a £ 1 million donation in 1998, towards preservation of Snowdonia National Park in north Wales and £ 2.3 million towards the refurbishment at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.
  28. On January 13, 1973, he married Jennifer Lynton, and found stability in his life. Even though she helped his fight with alcohol addiction, their love didn’t last and got separated in 2002, after 29 years of marriage. He moved on and married a Colombian-born antiques dealer Stella Arroyave, in 2003.
  29. He lost 80 pounds over a two-years period and gave up smoking following ‘Allen Carr’ method. He has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, characterized by difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication.
  30. In 1987, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and knighted in 1993 at Buckingham Palace, for his service to the arts.
  31. Anthony Hopkins Net Worth: $160 Million
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