Quantity and quality. In today's Hollywood, many actors sacrifice one to achieve the other. Not Anthony Hopkins. 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. Whether he's starring in a major motion picture 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.
Hopkins doesn’t mind playing supporting roles, even after becoming a leading box office draw, appearing alongside such handsome leading men as Alec Baldwin in The Edge, Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro and Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black.
The new millennium has him working harder than ever, often making two or three movies a year. He continues to eat up the screen in reprises of his role as Hannibal Lecter. He delights in quiet films such as Hearts of Atlantis and The World’s Fastest Indian. He helps breaks new ground in special effects-laden films such as Beowulf and The Wolfman. He has also had great fun in features such as Hitchcock and Red 2.
Here's hoping he keeps up the good work and the fast pace well into his 80s, at the very least.