In his Oscar-winning role as the brilliant cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, in 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs,” Hopkins scared the daylights out of audiences and gave new meaning to “fava beans" and “Chianti.”
A poor student, young Hopkins found his calling at 15 when he met countryman Richard Burton. He attended the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff and eventually found his way to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. It was the legendary Laurence Olivier, operating the Royal National Theatre, who invited him to join the troupe in 1965 as his understudy in “The Dance of Death.” Hopkins, who was 30 years Olivier’s junior, stood in for the part when the veteran actor came down with appendicitis.
Hopkins made his film debut in 1968 as King Richard in the classic “The Lion in Winter,” with Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn playing his parents.
Over the next four decades, he worked in theater, TV and features. He won an Emmy for his role as convicted kidnapper and murderer Bruno Hauptmann in 1976’s “The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case” and another Emmy as Adolf Hitler in the 1981 TV movie “The Bunker.”
He reprised his role as Lecter two more times for 2001’s “Hannibal” and 2002’s “Red Dragon.”
Hopkins has also earned Oscar nominations for 1993’s “The Remains of the Day,” 1995’s “Nixon” and 1997’s “Amistad.” In fact, he is the only actor to receive two nominations for playing presidents. He played Richard Nixon in “Nixon” and John Quincy Adams in “Amistad.”
He’s also ventured into directing, having starred in and directed the 1996 “August” and 2007 “Slipstream.” He composed the score to both films.
Although he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and retains his British citizenship, Hopkins became an American citizen on April 12, 2000.
|1991||Best Actor||The Silence of the Lambs||Win|
|1993||Best Actor||The Remains of the Day||Nomination|
|1997||Best Supporting Actor||Amistad||Nomination|