April 15, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Anthony Hopkins: The Unauthorized Biography

Current Status
In Season
Michael Feeney Callan
Biography, Movies
We gave it a B

Michael Callan had to be asked not to badger Anthony Hopkins’ aging mother, and that’s as close to Hopkins as he ever got. So his book, Anthony Hopkins: The Unauthorized Biography, follows the Welsh actor’s stormy career from afar: acting school, early years in London with Laurence Olivier’s National Theater, then Broadway, TV, and film, where he finally achieved worldwide fame as our century’s hungriest villain, Hannibal (the Cannibal) Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins’ crude temper, obsessive ambition, and ferocious drinking (now ended) made him a misery to work with, but his genius awed even those he enraged. But all Callan’s tales and interviews never give us the real Hopkins in close-up. The actor remains a + brilliant, distant stranger, unrevealed. It’s Callan’s failure, but, one suspects, Hopkins prefers it that way. B

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