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Anthony Hopkins was born Philip Anthony Hopkins in Wales in 1937. He was one more of those excellent British actors who might well have never made a single movie, but in 1968 he was cast in The Lion in Winter (written by James Goldman), in the role of Richard, one of Henry II's three sons, and when he was able to hold his own alongside the wonderful acting of Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn, the world took notice of this fine Welsh actor. He alternated between TV, movies, and the stage for a decade, and did not achieve major stardom, but in 1978 he made quite an impression in Magic (written by William Goldman, brother of James, who had written The Lion in Winter), in which Hopkins played a deranged ventriloquist who finds his life being controlled by his dummy, who has a mind of his own! Much more TV, movies, and stage work followed (Hopkins stays extremely busy!), and in 1991 Hopkins had the type of role that comes once in a lifetime in The Silence Of The Lambs (in his Best Actor Academy Award winning role as Doctor Hannibal Lector). The Lecter character had appeared in the 1986 movie Manhunter, where he was portrayed by Brian Cox. He was intended to be a somewhat minor supporting character in The Silence of the Lambs, but Hopkins portrayal was so intense and so amazing that he became the center of the movie, and Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar, even though his character is onscreen for only a small portion of the movie! Hopkins had many distinguished roles in the 1990s, including starring roles in two of the finest Merchant/Ivory productions, Howards End, and The Remains Of The Day (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film). He also appeared in some real clunkers (remember The Road to Wellville, Meet Joe Black, or Hannibal?) but he is always worth watching, even in his most lesser efforts. One of his very best performances was in 2005's The World's Fastest Indian, where he portrays real life race car driver Burt Munro, who traveled from New Zealand to Utah in 1967 and at the age of 68, driving a 1920 Indian motorcycle, he set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats! Some of his other movies include: Amistad (nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for this film), and Nixon (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film). As of 2021, Hopkins is still alive at the age of 83!
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