Sir Anthony Hopkins has been involved in theater and films for more than 50 years. Today, The Silence of the Lambs star continues to work as an actor, but also enjoys his fair share of piano playing.

Through the years, Hopkins has been married three times. In 2003, he wed his third wife in, Stella Arroyave, who’s 18 years younger than him.

Stella started out as a antique dealer in Los Angeles. However, her first meeting with Anthony changed everything – today, she’s a very well-respected director. So who is Stella Arroyave really?

This is all you need to know about their wonderful love story and marriage!

As a young teenager, Anthony Hopkins knew that he wanted to become an actor.

Anthony Hopkins – childhood

Born on December 1931, 1937 in Port Talbot, Wales, Hopkins turned out to be a very creative soul from the start, and at only 5 years of age started playing the piano. To this day, he still is playing, as well as composing.

“Yes, I started as a kid. I was five. My mother made me go for music lessons, and I took to it. I attempt to do very difficult pieces by Rachmaninoff and Chopin and Scriabin,” he told the New Yorker.

“I have no ambitions to play at Carnegie Hall or anything like that, but I do it for my own pleasure, I have a Bösendorfer piano, and I hide away down in my basement so that I don’t disturb people.

“And I paint. My wife got me to paint some years ago, because she found some old drawings of mine,” he added.

“So now I sell my paintings, and there’s quite a market for them.”

Hopkins went to the Cowbridge Grammar School. By this point, he had started to become an accomplished piano player, but at the same time, his childhood was pretty tough.

As he recalled himself, Hopkins wasn’t the greatest of students. But in the end, this filled him with motivation to do something special with his life.

“I was pathetic at school in Port Talbot. I don’t know if it was dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder, or just me being a problem child, but I sat in the back of the classroom and didn’t know what any of the teachers were talking about — I was bottom of the class at everything. And I was made to suffer,” he said.

“But in a way that was a great gift that life gave me, because in the end I was so angry and enraged that I made a certain choice in life. I thought: ‘I will get my revenge, I will become rich and famous and that will show them’.”

Enrolled at Royal drama school

At an early age, Hopkins also became interested in acting. He took amateur acting classes at the local YMCA, though in the beginning, he didn’t like them at all. He felt that he wasn’t supposed to be there.

Fortunately, he stood by himself.

When Hopkins entered his early teenage years, his life changed forever. Upon meeting his childhood hero, actor Richard Burton, he quickly realized that he needed to do something in order to be come successful. And that’s when everything changed.

“In a way he was a magical personality because he was the local kid from Tai Bach,” Hopkins recalled.

“I remember thinking, I’ve got to get out of this place. I’ve got to get out of this inner sanctum of my own inadequacy and do something with my life.

Anthony Hopkins wanted to become a successful actor, just like Burton. He was encourage and inspired, and at 15, he enrolled at the Royal Welsh College of Music And Drama.

After graduating in 1957, Hopkins went on to spend two years in the British Army. He then moved to London, where he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Once there, he continued perfecting his craft.

The legendary actor Laurence Olivier took Hopkins under his wings, teaching him everything he knew.

From Broadway to the cinema

In 1965, he was invited by Olivier to study at the Royal National Theater, which the actor later recalled in his memoir Confessions of an Actor.

“A new young actor in the company of exceptional promise named Anthony Hopkins was understudying me and walked away with the part of Edgar like a cat with a mouse between its teeth,” Olivier wrote, as quoted by the BBC.

In 1968, Hopkins was cast as Richard I in The Lion In Winter, alongside Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn and Timothy Dalton. Later, he got the chance to work in the Broadway production of Equus, but at this point, Hopkins had devoted his time to concentrating his talents on television and films.

Hopkins had gotten great critical attention following his work on the stage. He also had a special technique of memorizing, sometimes repeating his lines more than 200 times.

In 1976, Anthony Hopkins’ career took a giant step forward when he was nominated for an Emmy Award following his appearance in The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case. More success followed in the 1980s, as Hopkins starred in several television movies and mini-series, earning himself several nominations.

The 1980s was a great period for Hopkins regarding his career. However, it was in 1991 that he became something of the legendary actor we all know today. It all started when the Welsh actor landed the role of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.

Anthony Hopkins – ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

At this point, Hopkins was actually considering skipping Hollywood altogether, and instead retiring to the world of theater.

The Silence of the Lambs became a worldwide hit, and not only at the box office. It became only the third film in history to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Writing (adapted screenplay). As you may know by now, Hopkins won Best Actor – and his performance was truly stunning.

“I’m thrilled that the movie worked. I’m proud to be in it. I was in the theater, in London, and my agent phoned me— Jeremy Conway, his name was— and he said, ‘I’m sending a script over to the theater called The Silence of the Lambs‘,” Anthony Hopkins recalled in an interview with Variety.

“I said, ‘Is it a children’s story,’ I didn’t know. ‘No,’ he said. ‘It’s with Jodie Foster.’ I said, ‘Oh.’

“I think Jodie just won the Oscar for The Accused, actually. So I came to the dressing room and I started reading it, and I got through about 10 pages. When [the FBI agent] Crawford said, ‘You don’t want Hannibal Lecter inside your head,’ I thought, ‘Ooh, that’s it’,” he added.

I phoned my agent, and I said, ‘Is this an offer? This is the best part I could ever…’ He said, ‘Well, it’s not a big part.’ I said, ‘I don’t care’.”

It turned out to be a huge part for Hopkins, who at the time had just turned 50. His career skyrocketed following his performance, and in 1993, he was once again nominated for an Academy Award for the film The Remains of the Day.