Welsh actor Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, better known as simply Anthony Hopkins, turned 75 this Monday. Hopkins is best known for his roles of mastermind villain Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001), and Red Dragon (2002). Hopkins started acting at the age of 15, encouraged by actor Richard Burton who then told him "You'll make a great actor, kid." Hopkins was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993. Besides being an actor Hopkins is a brilliant pianist. In fact he took a break from acting in 2008 and went on a world piano tour where he played piano on stage, spoke about his life and acting, and cracked many anecdotes. For years Hopkins suffered from alcohol addiction which ruined his two marriages. "I was never a good husband or father, for which I am sorry" said Hopkins on his piano tour. Hopkins acted in over 90 movies, and at the age of 75 he does not plan to retire any time soon. He's currently involved in 6 movies which are in filming and pre-production stages.
Happy 75th birthday, Anthony!
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This contest is fueled by the following news: In the 1970s, Anthony Hopkins played, basically, supporting roles and portrayed characters quite professionally but without special revelations and mainly in military and detective films. He concentrated mainly on the theatre and TV roles. Here, Anthony Hopkins, stocky robust with an unsophisticated face, gradually gained experience and collected awards. In 1973, he was selected for the “Actor of the year” for his role of Pierre Bezukhov in the television film "War and peace" and in 1975, he received the prize from the New York critics for the Best Actor for the role of the psychiatrist “Dr. Martin Dysart” and encountering a strange case of vandalism in the play “Equus” by A. Shaffer (After Hopkins, this role was played by Richard Burton, who subsequently played the role in the film). Gradually, the artistic image of Hopkins emerged – unhurried, thorough and even a little bit sluggish. His composed look and leisurely manner in equal quantities could become characteristic of hero and action work and especially psychological work, when inner energy, hidden behind the ordinary appearance, was required from the actor.
In 1978, Richard Attenborough offered Anthony Hopkins a role in the film "Magic", emphasizing the inner and external stresses up to a limit. The young ventriloquist, who’s schizophrenic second is “Me”, sick and killing, is projected on his doll (dummy), thereby clearing him of the responsibility for the committed murders. The actor did not loose his smooth sluggishness, transforming into lethargy, which is suddenly burst by destructive and self-destructive pulses.
So, hero - maniacs appear alongside with heroes, whose interpretation does not go beyond the thin psychological character. Maniac characters were played by Hopkins (in particular, Hitler, played on TV). And in the films, made in England, in the lead roles played by Hopkins and in Hollywood, he preferred character roles. Among them, Hannibal in “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991, directed by Jonathan Demme) got hugely popular and Anthony Hopkins received an “Oscar” for the role. His character, possessing an awful appearance an impression, which increases constantly by his "muzzle", is simultaneously clever and shrewd, which is visible in his eyes.
A few years back, Hopkins suffered from alcoholism but after rehabilitation thanks to help rendered by “anonymous alcoholics”, Hopkins returned to England from Los Angeles. In England, he lives with his second wife and devotes his leisure time to playing the piano.