On Sunday 10 February 2008, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented Anthony Hopkins with the Academy Fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House.
Awarded annually in the Gift of the Academy, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. The Award was presented by Lord Attenborough, the Academy’s President. Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Christie, John Barry, Stanley Kubrick and Judi Dench.
Finola Dwyer, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Academy has presented this award to Anthony Hopkins. Anthony is one of the UK’s most loved and admired performers and his contribution to the film industry, both in the UK and abroad, is unrivalled”.
In a career spanning five decades, Anthony has become one of the most respected actors of his generation, with his talent recognised by the Academies on both sides of the Atlantic. During his career he has received four BAFTA nominations and won for his performances in The Remains of the Day (1993) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991). He has also received four Oscar nominations and won for his legendary performance as Hannibal Lecter.
A Welsh College of Music & Drama graduate, Anthony completed two years mandatory military training before joining Laurence Oliver’s National Theatre at the Old Vic. He made his feature film debut in 1968 opposite Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter and received his first BAFTA nomination for his performance.
Anthony has received critical acclaim for his diverse performances in films such as Amistad (1997), Nixon (1995), Shadowlands (1993), Howards End (1992), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Elephant Man (1980) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). Demonstrating immense versatility, he has returned to the stage throughout his career with celebrated performances at the National Theatre in London and on Broadway. He has also worked extensively in television and has won a BAFTA Television Award and two Emmy Awards.
In 2007, Anthony starred in Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf. He also directed, wrote, composed the score and starred in the independent feature film Slipstream.
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