Anthony Hopkins booking
Most actors are pleased to have just one role acclaimed worldwide. But with Anthony Hopkins, over the last 40 years, there’ve been so many memorable moments, so many extraordinary performances. Remember him as the schizophrenic ventriloquist, losing his mind in Magic? As kindly Dr Frederick Treves, befriending the hideously deformed John Hurt in The Elephant Man? As a fusty old CS Lewis, weeping before the wardrobe in Shadowlands, knowing there’s no magic to bring Debra Winger back? Then there were the Oscar-nominated roles, as US presidents in both Amistad and Nixon, and as a destructively repressed butler in The Remains Of The Day. And there were the heavyweight stage appearances as Macbeth and Lear, and the tortured Dr Dysart in Equus. And more, so many more.
There can be no doubt that Hopkins is one of the finest screen actors ever, with an incredible emotional range. Sod’s Law dictates, then, that he should be best-known as the quiet, watchful, ultra-controlled Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter from Thomas Harris’s notorious trilogy, eating people’s liver with a fine Chianti. Incredibly, it was soon after he played this calculating and manipulative beast that he was knighted by the Queen. Strange world, indeed.
Philip Anthony Hopkins was born on New Year’s Eve, 1937, at 77, Wern Road, Margam, near Port Talbot, South Wales. His mother was Muriel (nee Phillips, a relative of the poet William Butler Yeats) and his father Richard Arthur, a man of immense, sometimes violent energy, whose eyes would change colour when he was excited and who, Hopkins believes, eventually died from being wound too tight. Richard’s father was a self-educated man who, having trained at a bakery in Piccadilly, built a bakery business after his own father had drunk away what fortune the family had. Strong-willed and free-thinking, he was a vegetarian and a militant trades unionist. He was also very close to young Anthony, nicknaming him George (oddly, father Richard would know him as Charlie).
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