1. Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, CBE , is a Welsh actor of film, stage, and television, and a composer and painter. After graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 1957, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and was then spotted by Laurence Olivier who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre.
2. In 1968, he got his break in film in The Lion in Winter, playing Richard I.
3. Considered to be one of the greatest living actors, Hopkins is well known for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, its sequel Hannibal, and the prequel Red Dragon.
4. Along with his Academy Award, Hopkins has won three BAFTA Awards, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
5. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.
6. He remained there for five terms and was then educated at Cowbridge Grammar School in the Vale of Glamorgan.
7. Hopkins was influenced and encouraged by Welsh compatriot Richard Burton, whom he met at the age of 15.
8. Hopkins promptly enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, from which he graduated in 1957.
9. Olivier later noted in his memoir, Confessions of an Actor, that “A new young actor in the company of exceptional promise named Anthony Hopkins was understudying me and walked away with the part of Edgar like a cat with a mouse between its teeth.”
10. Despite his success at the National, Hopkins tired of repeating the same roles nightly and yearned to be in films.
11. He made his small-screen debut in a 1967 BBC broadcast of A Flea in Her Ear.
12. In 1980, he starred in The Elephant Man as the English doctor Sir Frederick Treves, who attends to Joseph Merrick , a severely deformed man in 19th century London.
13. That year he also starred opposite Shirley MacLaine in A Change of Seasons and famously said “she was the most obnoxious actress I have ever worked with.” In 1984, he starred opposite Mel Gibson in The Bounty as William Bligh, captain of the Royal Navy ship the HMS Bounty, in a retelling of the mutiny on the Bounty.
14. Set in 1950s post-war Britain, Hopkins starred opposite Emma Thompson in the critically acclaimed The Remains of the Day .
15. Hopkins was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, and the film frequently ranks among the best British films of all time. Hopkins portrayed Oxford academic C. S. Lewis in the 1993 British biographical film Shadowlands, and received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
16. During the 1990s, Hopkins had the chance to work with Bart the Bear in two films: Legends of the Fall .
17. According to trainer, Lynn Seus, “Tony Hopkins was absolutely brilliant with Bart…He acknowledged and respected him like a fellow actor.