Childhood & Early Life
Abigail Hopkins was born on August 20, 1968, to Anthony Hopkins and his then-wife, Petronella Barker, in Putney, London, England. Before becoming a famous Hollywood actor, Anthony lived in London and studying acting at the ‘Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.’ He met Petronella in the mid-1960s.
They started dating and got married in 1966. The couple lived in London, and Anthony continued his struggle to become an actor. Slowly, he started getting recognized for his work. Soon, he left for Los Angeles to start his career in Hollywood. He did not take his family with him and left them back in London.
Abigail was a toddler when her father left the family. She was raised by her mother, who was also a stage and TV actor. Abigail’s grandparents, too, were actors. Thus, she was inclined toward acting since a tender age.
By the time she was 7 years old, she had developed a keen interest in music and had started taking classes in classical guitar. She also tried her hand in stage acting during her school years.
While her father had permanently settled in Los Angeles, her mother refused to move there. Abigail missed her father, who only visited her once a year and remained busy with his acting projects throughout most of her childhood. Abigail grew up feeling bitter about her father. Her parents officially divorced in 1972, and this affected her.
In 1973, Anthony got married again. This marked an end to Abigail’s relationship with her father. In her mid-20s, she moved to Los Angeles to make a career in the entertainment industry.
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Abigail started her career in Hollywood in the early 1990s and has appeared in more than 10 feature films to date. Most of her film appearances have been in minor roles. Her films were mostly small-budget independent films that did not receive proper releases. She also appeared in a few documentaries, short films, and TV programs.
She started her full-fledged acting career in 1993, with a small appearance in a TV film titled ‘Selected Exits,’ which was based on the memoirs of Gwyn Thomas, a famous Welsh author and British TV personality. The film did nothing much for her, as it was not watched by many.
The same year, she appeared as a housemaid in the film ‘The Remains of the Day,’ alongside her father. It was a minor role. The film turned out to be one of the biggest commercial and critical successes of the year and is also known as one of the best films of Anthony’s career.
In 1993, she appeared in another film starring her father, ‘Shadowlands.’ It was a biographical film that was widely appreciated by critics. She played a minor role in the film. Although the film did not receive tremendous box-office success, it was received better when it was later released on home media.
Following this, Abigail remained jobless for three years. In 1996, she made her comeback, with a documentary series titled ‘999.’ The series picked real-life stories and recreated them. It ran for a year and received remarkable reviews from critics. Abigail appeared as ‘Wendy’ in one episode and as ‘Sharon’ in another.
She then took yet another break of three years and appeared in the 2000 TV film ‘Elizabeth.’ She played the supporting role of ‘Catherine Parr’ in the film, which was received well by critics.
Realizing that she was not able to find meaty roles to take her acting career forward, Abigail decided to take an indefinite break from acting and concentrated on her music career instead. After working for three years, she released her debut album, ‘Smile Road,’ in 2003. The album received average reviews. Its reach was limited.
In 2005, Abigail released yet another album, ‘Blue Satin Alley,’ which was as lukewarm as her first album. Refusing to give up, Abigail released an EP named ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ in 2007. In 2008, she released ‘The Memoirs of an Outlaw,’ which has been her last album to date. After the failure of her musical aspirations, she gave up on music, too. For the next few years, she practically disappeared from public view.
She took a break of 12 years and made a comeback in 2012, with the short film ‘Homo Geminus.’ It was an experimental film that was featured at selected film festivals. It featured Abigail as ‘Black Angel White Angel.’
Later in 2012, she appeared in yet another short film, ‘Sticks and Stones,’ which featured her as ‘Molly.’ The film tackled the issue of bullying and was showcased at a few national and international film festivals.
In 2014, Abigail bagged the first leading role of her career in the short film ‘Unchained.’ The thriller–drama film narrated the tale of a mentally ill mother ending up inheriting a fortune.
In 2015, she appeared in an Indo–Bangladeshi Bengali-language film named ‘Romeo vs Juliet.’ The film featured her as ‘Desdemona.’ It was an average grosser and received mixed reviews in both Indian and international critical circles.
The same year, she appeared in yet another short film, ‘A Million Words.’ Despite being Anthony Hopkins’s daughter and trying hard to prove her mettle in acting, she could not bring herself to achieve even a fraction of the success that her father attained.
Abigail Hopkins shared a bitter relationship with her father throughout her teenage years. She arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1990s and reconnected with her father for a brief period of time. Her father helped her bag a few early roles, in films such as ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘Shadowlands.’
In 2001, the father–daughter duo separated again. They did not reconcile after that. She stopped mentioning her father’s name to get work and stated that she did not want her father to help her with her career.
She also revealed in an interview that she had heard her father say some mean words to her mother when she was 16 years old. She said that she had been suicidal for a while and that she hated her father immensely.
Anthony created further controversy, when he was asked on a radio show whether he had any grandchildren. He responded coldly and said that Abigail and he were not on talking terms and that he had moved on from that part of his life.