1937 – Born on December 31st in Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, Wales. Welsh stage and film actor of burning intensity, often seen at his best when playing pathetic misfits or characters on the fringes of insanity.
1955 – Hopkins had early ambitions to be a concert pianist. He began acting at age 18, when he joined a YMCA dramatic club. He received a scholarship to the Cardiff College of Music and Drama, and he toured with the Arts Council as a stage manager and actor after his graduation, then spent two years with the Royal Artillery.
1960-1961 – Upon his demobilization he resumed his acting career, making his professional debut. A self-described “actor of instinct,” he gained needed training by enrolling at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating as a silver medalist two years later.
1964 – He first appeared on the London stage in Lindsay Anderson’s production of Julius Caesar.
1965-1967 – Accepted into Laurence Olivier’s National Shakespeare Company, he understudied Olivier in several productions before attracting critical attention with his performances as Edgar in The Dance of Death and Andrey Prosorov in The Three Sisters.
– It was during this period that he appeared in his first film, the Anderson-directed short subject The White Bus.
1974 – He enjoyed a double professional triumph when he starred in the American television miniseries QB VII and also played the role of Dr. Martin Dysart in the original Broadway production of Equus.
1976-1984 – His career gained momentum, and his subsequent film and TV credits included his Emmy-winning performances as Bruno Richard Hauptmann in The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case and as Adolf Hitler in The Bunker, as well as his sharply etched portrayals of two roles previously associated with Charles Laughton: Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Captain Bligh in The Bounty.
– He won a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as a schizophrenic ventriloquist in the American film Magic.
1989 – He made his West End stage debut in the musical drama M. Butterfly.
1991 – While critical acclaim has been lavished upon Hopkins’s rich, full-blooded characterizations of such real-life personalities as Yitzhak Rabin, John Quincy Adams, Richard Nixon, C.S. Lewis, and Pablo Picasso, the film role with which he is most identified, and for which he received an Academy Award, was that of the horrifyingly brilliant serial killer Hannibal (“the Cannibal”) Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.
1993-1997 – He received subsequent Oscar nominations for Remains of the Day, Nixon, and Amistad.
– Hopkins was knighted.