Date of Birth: December 31st 1937
Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning film, stage and television actor. He was born and raised in Wales, but became a U.S. citizen on April 12, 2000.
Hopkins is renowned for his firm preparation for roles. He has confessed in interviews that once he has committed to a project, he will go over his lines as many times as is needed (sometimes upwards of 200) until the lines sound natural to him, so that he can "do it without thinking". This leads to an almost casual style of delivery that belies the amount of groundwork done beforehand. While it can allow for some careful improvisation, it has also brought him into conflict with the occasional director who departs from the script, or demands what the actor views as an excessive number of takes. Hopkins has also stated that after he is finished with a scene, he simply discards the lines, not remembering them later on. This is unlike other actors that usually remember their lines from a film even years later.
Hopkins' most famous role is the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992) opposite Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, who also won for Best Actress. In addition, the film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is the shortest lead performance to win an Oscar, as Hopkins only appears for about seventeen minutes. Hopkins went on to reprise his role as Lecter twice (Hannibal in 2001 and Red Dragon in 2002). His original portrayal of the character in The Silence of the Lambs has been labelled by the American Film Institute as the number-one film villain. At the time he was offered the role, Hopkins was making a return to the London stage, performing in M. Butterfly. He had come back to Britain after living for a number of years in Hollywood, having all but given up on a career there, saying, "Well that part of my life's over; it's a chapter closed. I suppose I'll just have to settle for being a respectable actor poncing around the West End and doing respectable BBC work for the rest of my life."