Heralded to be one of the few actors who have the rare quality to turn a mediocre film into a stellar picture, surely it is very unnecessary to question the talent and skills Anthony Hopkins possesses within. With his incredible emotional range plus well-established ability to deliver first-class portrayals for the role he has been cast, whether as a schizophrenic ventriloquist, a destructively repressed butler, or just a mere kind doctor, he really has turned into a prominent figure that is so close to be a living legend in film industry. Born as Philip Anthony Hopkins to baker Richard Arthur Hopkins and Muriel Yeats on December 31, 1937 in Margam, near Port Talbot, South Wales, U.K, Anthony grew up as a sensitive, anti-social boy who preferred to lay his interest outside school subjects, presumably because of the learning disorder known as dyslexia he had been afflicted with during his early life. A lousy student, he really had horrible time at school then, spending this period in three different educational institutions of Port Talbot's Central School, West Monmouth boarding school in Pontypool, and Cowbridge Grammar School where he was finally able to finish his study.
Sank deeper into his favorite activities of drawing, playing piano, also watching movies which introduced him to the wonder of acting, Anthony gradually found himself developing an overwhelming desire to be an actor, moreover after Richard Burton gave his encouragement to follow his footstep when he briefly met the older fellow Welshman at the age of fifteen. Ultimately fixed his mind to pursue the dream, he afterwards took apprenticeship with the local YMCA players, followed by an enrollment at Cardiff's College of Music and Drama, but did not go straight into acting field upon his graduation in 1957 as he decided to serve the country in the Royal Artillery for the next two years. It was not until this charismatic man returned to Wales that he put full concentration to establish his professional career, making some appearances in the local plays after his stage debut in “Have a Cigarette” at the Palace Theatre, Swansea to then acquire a seat at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Less than five years, Anthony already made his way to land his feet on the prestigious Royal Court Theater as he managed to earn the role of Metellus Cimber in its stage production of “Julius Caesar” which provided him enough notice to receive an invitation to join Laurence Olivier's National Theatre in 1965. Continuing to perform onstage under this company throughout 1966 and 1967, he took time to encounter his first big screen enactment in Lindsay Anderson's “The White Bus” (1967) and also held his marriage ceremony in September 1967 with his sweetheart, Petronella Parker, who later gave him a daughter named Abigail on August 20, 1968. Sadly, this relationship did not work well for they concluded to have a divorce in 1972, leading him to the thought of abandoning his baby girl which thus resulted in his drinking habit, subsequently became a figure who was hard to work with.
Realized that his dependence on alcohol could ruin all he had built, particularly after he gained national attention upon his triumph at the 1973 BAFTA Awards for being the Best Actor through his role in BBC's miniseries of “War and Peace” (1972), Anthony started to fight against his addiction with the full support from his second wife, Jennifer Lynton. Successfully overcame the habit by the late 1975, he confidently returned to the screen to star in a handful of either film or TV movie projects, including those of “The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1976)” which directed him to take home an Emmy Award in 1976 and “Magic” (1978) that brought him to be nominated at the 1979 Golden Globe Awards. This superb achievement unmistakably gave wide access for him to break into Hollywood by the turn of the decade, causing him to divide his time between U.S. and England inevitably.
Busily involved in numerous features of different genre and characters throughout the '80s, Anthony kept garnering praise after praise for his knack in consistently displaying excellent portrayals, mostly in TV movie programs for he was able to acquire one more Emmy Award in 1981 also another Golden Globe Awards' nomination by 1989. The blue-eyed actor finally came to the highlight of his career in 1992 when he was named Best Actor in a Leading Role at Academy Awards for his outstanding performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), consequently propelled him to worldwide recognition besides increased his status highly as an A-list thespian in American film scene. Much in demand after this acclaimed picture, he afterwards was seen starring in some notable Hollywood movies, such as “Howards End” opposite Vanessa Redgrave and “Bram Stoker's Dracula” together with Gary Oldman also Winona Ryder before once more gained Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination at Academy Awards by 1994 for his remarkable turn in “The Remains of the Day” (1993).
The rest of 1990s saw Anthony gloriously encountered his golden period as he not only scored two more Oscar nominations along with those of Golden Globes and SAG Awards which he obtained through “Nixon” (1995) and “Amistad” (1997), but also received commercial success with “The Mask of Zorro” (1998), “Meet Joe Black” (1998), and “Instinct (1999). Amid this attainment that later was proceeded by stunning enactments as Ted Brautigan in “Hearts in Atlantis” (2001) and again as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal” (2001) then “Red Dragon” (2002), he once more failed to retain his second marriage, taking a shocking decision to split with Lynton in 2002 to later marry Stella Arroyave, an antiques dealer 20 years his junior, by 2003. Private life aside, Anthony, who delightfully earned a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in the same year, kept running his acting career steadily through a series of high-profile movies, like “Alexander” (2004), “Proof” (2005), “All the King's Men” (2006), and “Bobby” (2006) while joined Angelina Jolie also Brendan Gleeson to undergo performance capture process for “Beowulf” (2007).