Sir Anthony Hopkins CBE (born December 31, 1937) is a Welsh-born actor who was born Philip Anthony Hopkins in Margam, near Port Talbot, Wales. His parents were the late Richard Arthur Hopkins and Muriel Yeats, who is a distant relation of poet William Butler Yeats. He was influenced and encouraged to become an actor by fellow Welshman Richard Burton, whom he met briefly at the age of fifteen. Hopkins eventually moved to London where he trained as an actor at RADA.
He now resides in the United States where he became a naturalized citizen on April 12, 2000. However, as a dual national, he retains his knighthood and can use the title 'Sir' in the UK, but not in the US, since it is considered 'inappropriate' according to the British consulate. Proud of his American citizenship, Hopkins stated that as soon as he became a citizen of the country, he went on a 3,000 mile road trip across America.
His most famous role was the portrayal of the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the film The Silence of the Lambs (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor) opposite Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, who also won the Academy Award for Best Actress that year. In fact the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture as well that year, no doubt due to the electrifying interplay between Hopkins and Foster. It is the shortest lead acting Oscar-winning performance ever, as Hopkins is only on the screen for about sixteen minutes. Hopkins reprised the role of Dr. Lecter twice in Hannibal and Red Dragon.