Anthony Hopkins, a well-celebrated actor, struggled with alcoholism early on in his career. Like other alcoholics, he turned to alcohol for comfort, rather than to his many supportive friends and loved ones. Hopkins says that his drinking turned him into a loner, having had one failed relationship after another. He joined Alcoholics Anonymous after he woke up one morning in another state wondering how he got there. He attributes AA to getting his life back on track.
It was on Monday December 29th, 1975 that Anthony Hopkins took his last drink. It was 2 days before his 38th birthday – December 31st, New Year’s eve – and, to many, it might seem odd that he didn’t just wait after the notorious drinking holiday. But, Sir Anthony Hopkins says that he didn’t choose the time, it chose him.
Sir Anthony Hopkins has been sober now for 39 years. “For me, giving it up was finding the airlock, the escape hatch. It all happened one Monday morning in 1975.”
Here is a list of just some of the many professional and personal accomplishments of the Welsh actor over his expansive career. It’s refreshing to see someone with long-term sobriety achieve so much in his lifetime.
1975: Confronted his alcohol addiction.
1987: Awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
1988: Received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Wales.
1991: Received an Academy Award for Best Actor in The Silence of the Lambs.
1993: Knighted in the New Year Honors List.
2001: He ranked second in the Orange Film Survey of the greatest British films actors.
2003: Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Being knighted by the Queen of England is probably the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian. Besides these, Sir Anthony Hopkins is not only a highly talented actor; he is a well-rounded person with many other skills and talents. For example, Hopkins is considered to be a piano virtuoso.
What makes Hopkins’ accomplishments so impressive is the adversity and obstacles he has overcome in his lifetime. Besides his struggle with alcoholism, Hopkins has dyslexia – a learning disability that makes reading quite difficult. Hopkins never let that interfere with his acting career, however; he is known by his colleagues to have an uncanny ability to learn and memorize scripts, sometimes after just one read-through.
Giving Back and Service
Sir Anthony Hopkins is quite active in both the arts and recovery communities. He volunteers at the Ruskins School of Acting in Santa Monica, California where he teaches acting methods to youths. Hopkins is also a patron of the YMCA center in his hometown of Port Talbot, South Wales and has been for more than 20 years. He was a Guest of Honor at a Gala Fundraiser for Women in Recovery, Inc., a California-based non-profit organization offering rehabilitation services to women in recovery from substance abuse. Hopkins is also a patron of the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt) since its inception and even helped open their first intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit in 1992.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-88-951-6135.