Patrick Stewart Biography

Distinguishable for his classically trained vocal mannerisms and bald head, Patrick Stewart has effectively mixed those recognized traits of his with the superb acting talent also polished skills he possesses to successfully carve his niche in Hollywood alongside other substantial British actors people always pay respect to. Raised in the industrial town of Mirfield, Yorkshire, England from the day he was born on July 13, 1940, Patrick is the youngest of three sons of Alfred Stewart, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the British Army, and a local mill's weaver named Gladys Barrowclough. His childhood sadly was not passed in joyful condition due to so many unhappy aspects he encountered during this period yet it thankfully did not make the boy lose interest on everything as he turned out to be a big fan of Shakespeare's works and classic literature, thanks to his brothers who had provided him some readings on them. This love later delightfully extended to acting after he was encouraged to get serious on it by the English teacher at his secondary modern school who even offered him a place in an eight-day drama course.

Following the course, Patrick enthusiastically increased his participation in local amateur theater groups and as the desire to act became hard to resist, he boldly decided to give up his study at age 15 so that he could pay larger attention on performing. Aimed to broaden his craft, the teen then enrolled in Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where he underwent a two-year acting course up to 1959 before finally landed his professional debut in "Treasure Island" presented at Lincoln's Theatre Royal later that year. Much to his dismal, it was during this time that he lost nearly all of his hair due to the alopecia that runs in his family, a disorder involving the state of lacking hair especially on the head. Though so, the young guy wonderfully managed to nab a handful of stage stints for the first half of the next decade, joining such repertory companies as the Liverpool Playhouse and Manchester Library Theatre while still served at the Old Vic.

Shifted into high gear in mid-1960s upon being invited to be the member of Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966, Patrick kept striving to finally become a household name on theater business by the '70s, even got the chance to appear on Broadway in Peter Brook's landmark production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" performed in 1971. Nevertheless, the success gravely did not bring much effect to his career onscreen as he only earned small notice for his TV works which included those in "Fall of Eagles" (1974), "North and South" (1975), "I, Claudius" (1976), plus "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (1979) among others. It was not until the late 1980s that everything began to turn out extremely well for this charismatic man, all started from his participation in a dramatic reading at UCLA which was also visited by famed producer Robert Justman.

Deeply impressed with Patrick's presentation to subsequently feel that he really fitted the captain role for his upcoming TV production of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", Justman immediately recommended the Englishman to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Initially wanted a French actor to play the part, Roddenberry eventually gave in after some time and so the American audience then saw Patrick assuming the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the pilot episode of the series aired in syndication by 1987. The show soon amazingly soared to be one of the most popular TV programs on that era, thereby propelling him to vast recognition around the country besides undoubtedly opening wider opportunity for him to run his path in the industry as he later was also spotted in film features, like "L.A. Story" (1991), "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993), and "Gunmen" (1994).

Stayed in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" for seven years while remained true to the stage along the way, Patrick indeed encountered his golden age in 1990s, garnering accolades for both his theatrical and screen enactment. The kudos covered a Drama Desk Award, an Olivier Award, and particularly a nod at the 1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Picard. The attainment even went larger by the end of the decade when he fabulously scored a Leading Actor nomination at two prestigious events of the 1998 Emmy Awards and the 1999 Golden Globe Awards through his outstanding portrayal of Captain Ahab in HBO TV-movie "Moby Dick" (1998).

By the beginning of the 21st century, Patrick already struck higher in commercial success through his decent performance as Professor Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer's "X-Men" (2000). The superhero flick satisfyingly proved to be one of the highest grossing films of that year, pulling in over 296 million worldwide, but it was not until 2003 that its sequel "X-Men 2" graced the theaters, and so, allowed Patrick to appear in "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002). He next concluded his part as Xavier in the final installment of "X-Men" trilogy "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), which also scored remarkable box office tally of over $459 million globally.

Aside from his works on-stage and on-screen, Patrick has also been known for his contribution in providing voice for various features since 1982, be it as a character or a narrator in animation picture, live-action production, also video games. To name some of the projects, there were "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds" (1984), "The Pagemaster" (1994), "The Prince of Egypt" (1998), "Animal Farm" (1999), and "Water for Tea" (2003), plus numerous video game adaptations of "Star Trek." 2007, in the meantime, found him voicing for "TMNT" followed by another stint in "The Water Warriors", set to come up in 2009.

Taking a look on his private life, Patrick was first married to Old Vic's choreographer Sheila Falconer in 1966 to then welcome his two children, Daniel Freedom in 1968 and Sophie Alexandra Falconer in 1973. Sadly, the knot did not last long for they decided to split in 1990 yet he later managed to flourish a new love in Wendy Neuss whom he changed vows with on August 25, 2000 only to again meet another failure as they ultimately separated in October 2003. However, the actor apparently did not have to wait long to embark on another romantic journey for he afterwards lived together with actress Lisa Dillon, his opposite in a stage production of "The Master Builder."