Hopkins, Anthony. The Biography

The Biography Front Cover

Arise Sir Anthony Hopkins, is a biography written by Feeney Callan that you must read.

I am sure your mother must have said, as mine certainly did... She always used to say to try new things... :-) Consequently, I plan to read all of Sir Anthony's biographies. I read this book cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even had the Goldberg Variations playing in the background. :-)

One thing for sure though, is that after reading this biography you will end up liking him even more. Sir Anthony is one of those paradoxes that, no matter what you read about him, you end up liking him even more... I think this is partly because most fans relate to him from the hugely popular Hannibal character, and after all, he used to eat people, so what could be worse than that? Hence, reading about alcohol abuse in the distant past is not a big deal these days.

I was very interested to read that Sir Richard Attenborough had offered him the lead role in the film Gandhi to play the lead character Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (p.195). However, he felt that he was not the correct physical stature, and one day, whilst looking at himself in the mirror, he just could not see himself as Gandhi (p.218).

Gandhi was a very intense person at times and it certainly would have been amazing to see Sir Anthony play him, as he too has that remarkable ability to capture the moment on the screen so effortlessly.

In retrospect, I think his decision to turn it down was correct and for the right reasons. Gandhi was a very well known iconic figure, and any actor that played him would have had to look physically a lot like him. The film also showed real historic archived footage, and most people would have been able to tell the difference straight away.

Sir Anthony has a very interesting concept of God, that if there was one, it would be time. In this book and the Slipstream article on Wikipedia he mentions the following:

"My own interpretation is if there's a God, that God is actually time. I'm fascinated by the fact the older I get every moment just slips past. What is real? You grasp this moment and then it's gone. I was talking 10 minutes ago but that is all gone, it's all a dream. Maybe the puzzle of life is asking what it's all about. I've got a theory that at the moment of impact of death we'll wake."

I happened to be reading a book by Dr Raymond Moody, called Life after Life. It is about people who have had a near death experience and have been able to express what they saw. They saw a review of their life in which they re-lived every moment of it, in the presence of God. At that point, mortal life seemed very much like a dream.

My thoughts are that your whole life from the time you are born to the time you die has always existed permanently etched within the fabric of material space. Your current living-experience that you call life is simply a mechanistic process of passing through each moment of your life, as a tape passes through a tape recorder, playing out the music...

I liked the book and it made me think, something I try to avoid these days, as I do not want to break the Universe...

There are many interesting revelations in this book that will have the reader hooked until the very last page is turned. The research by Michael Callan is remarkable as the bibliography is very detailed and four pages long. It certainly appears from this book that Michael must have spent much time with Sir Anthony searching for photographs and documents to add to this book, and consequently his analysis is comprehensive.

I have to admit that I have never read any of Michael’s books before. I picked this off the shelf because there was a face on it that I recognised very well. However, I am glad that I did because it is a very in-depth look into the life of this amazing person. The book reads very well and contains some amazing new facts that most fans such as myself would not have previously known.

I must say... I am giving great consideration... to... buying that Classical Music CD Sir Anthony has just released. Perhaps even read the book again whilst listening to it... As I am sure your mother must have said, as mine certainly did, she always used to say... to try new things.

Back Cover

Back Cover

There seems to be a common pattern following all the greatest actors, and prominent businesspersons; that education had very little to offer them. Certainly sitting in the class performing long division like a lab rat will not help to unleash your potential and skill.

Anthony Hopkins was born on 31st December 1937 in a small town called Margam [1], Port Talbot in Wales. He was a very artistic student who preferred to draw and play the piano. He studied at the Johns' West Monmouth Boys' School and Cowbridge Grammar School.

At the age of 15, he met Richard Burton, also a Welsh Actor, who influenced him to enrol at the Royal Welsh College of music and Drama, from which he graduated in 1957. He served two years in the British Army for national service and then joined RADA, (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts).

His father’s name was Richard Arthur Hopkins, who was a professional baker, and his mother’s name was Muriel Anne.

[1] Margam is a track on his new CD. I wonder if it was named after the place where he was born.


TitleArise Sir Anthony Hopkins
AuthorMichael Feeney Callan
PublisherPublisher John Blake Publishing Ltd
ISBN Number978 1 84454 546 9
First Printed2008
Copyright HolderMichael Feeney Callan
Last Page Number466
CoverPaperback matt finish
Cover Price£7.99
PrintersCPI Bookmarque, Croydon, CRO 4TD
Print Number1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Cover DesignsCorbis
Back CoverRex Features
AvailabilityAmazon and all good online bookstores

Here is an empty bottle of Chianti I found by the roadside. I have never seen a bottle with a grass skirt before.