Quantity and quality. In today's Hollywood, many actors sacrifice one to achieve the other. Not Sir Anthony Hopkins (he received the honor of Commander, Order of the British Empire, from Queen Elizabeth in 1987). With the exception of 1975 and 1983, he's appeared in at least one film (and sometimes as many as four) each year since his big-screen debut in 1968 (technically, Hopkins' film credits date back to 1960, as he did some voice-over work for the late Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1991 restoration of Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus") Whether he's starring in a major motion picture like his current project, "Instinct," or a made-for-television movie, Hopkins is always at the top of his game. He tackles a wide variety of roles with equal mastery, as you'll see when you scan this list of titles available from Critics' Choice Video.
Born in South Wales on New Year's Eve 1937, Hopkins developed an interest in acting after high school. He joined a community drama club and then honed his craft at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and London's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first notable film role came in 1968's "The Lion In Winter," in which he starred as Richard the Lionhearted. He's turned in many more uncanny portrayals of historical figures since then, including Bruno Richard Hauptmann in "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case," Adolph Hitler in "The Bunker," Richard Nixon in "Nixon," Pablo Picasso in "Surviving Picasso"and John Quincy Adams in "Amistad".
After "The Lion in Winter," Hopkins starred as Claudius in a British film version of "Hamlet" in 1969 before concentrating on made-for-television projects throughout the '70s and '80s. Of course, he continued starring in theatrical releases during this period, including the 1974 disaster flick "Juggernaut," the 1977 WWII epic "A Bridge Too Far"(which also starred Sean Connery and Dirk Bogarde), the creepy crime thriller "Magic" in 1978 and "The Elephant Man" in 1980. Astonishingly, Hopkins failed to earn an Oscar nomination for his work in "The Elephant Man," but he enjoyed no shortage of recognition from the Academy in the '90s. Hopkins won the Best Actor award for his chilling performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs" and received nominations for "Remains of the Day" in 1993, "Nixon" in 1995 and "Amistad" in 1997. Lately, he's become quite popular with female film fans, appearing alongside such handsome leading men as Alec Baldwin ("The Edge", Antonio Banderas ("The Mask of Zorro") and Brad Pitt ("Meet Joe Black"). "Instinct" continues this trend, as Hopkins shares scenes with Cuba Gooding Jr.
As the world welcomes the year 2000, Anthony Hopkins will be celebrating his 62nd birthday. He has yet to show signs of slowing down, and here's hoping he keeps up the good work and the fast pace well into the next millennium.