Sir Anthony Hopkins: Screen legend, double Oscar-winner and Only Fools and Horses fan
I was so delighted that screen legend – and massive Only Fools and Horses fan – Sir Anthony Hopkins won his second Academy Award at the Oscars last night.
You might not know was that Anthony was going to appear in Only Fools back in 1988. He was a huge fan of the show and, during an interview on Wogan on BBC One, said he’d love to be in it.
He and writer John Sullivan went out for a curry and John subsequently decided to bring gangland hard-men, the Driscoll Brothers into the show with the elder one, Danny, to be played by Anthony.
“Unfortunately when we got to film it he wasn’t free. He was in America filming some movie called The Silence of The Lambs and after that we never heard of him again, did we?” John joked.
Anthony’s performance in The Silence of the Lambs earned him a Best Actor Oscar and last night he won a second for his role as an elderly man with dementia in the film Father.
Back in 1998 when I was writing my first Only Fools book The Only Fools and Horses Story I wrote to Anthony to ask him if he would write a foreword to the book.
He rang me the following day and said he was delighted I’d asked him. To say I was chuffed to bits was the understatement of the decade – and he couldn’t have been more helpful.
He talked about his love of the show – and spoke fondly about Lennard Pearce, who’d played Grandad. They worked together at the National Theatre in the 1960s. “He was a very nice man,” he told me. “A really gentle guy.”
Anthony’s favourite Only Fools moments is also one of mine too…. the scene in the Nag’s Head when the guys are talking about everyone having 15 minutes of fame during a lifetime.
Trig says: “Like Gandhi.” And Rodney says: “Gandhi?” and Trig says: “He made one great film and then you never saw him again.”
More in my book: https://amzn.to/3evO5q6
(c) Steve Clark 2021