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Alfred Molina

Alfred Molina

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Also Known As: Alfredo Molina, Fred Molina Died:
Born: May 24, 1953 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor, comic

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Ever since his emergence from the British stage, actor Alfred Molina carved out a prominent career as a chameleon-like character actor who occasionally emerged in leading man roles. After climbing the traditional ladder of British theatrical aspiration, moving from the repertory circuit to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Molina created a stir as The Maniac in "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" (1979). But it was his success on the big screen - starting with a small, but memorable role as a turncoat guide covered in spiders in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) - that spurred Molina to success. From there, his mixed heritage allowed Molina to play just about any nationality in a variety of roles - from a Russian sailor in "Letter to Brezhnev" (1985) to an Iranian in Western clothing in "Not Without My Daughter" (1991) to a Cuban refugee in "The Perez Family" (1995) and a Greek-American lawyer in "Before and After" (1996). Though often tapped to play villains - most notably as Dr. Octopus in the blockbuster sequel "Spider-Man 2" (2004) - he made his greatest impression as the pleasure-seeking artist Diego Rivera in "Frida" (2002), making clear to audiences that there were few roles Molina was not willing...

Ever since his emergence from the British stage, actor Alfred Molina carved out a prominent career as a chameleon-like character actor who occasionally emerged in leading man roles. After climbing the traditional ladder of British theatrical aspiration, moving from the repertory circuit to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Molina created a stir as The Maniac in "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" (1979). But it was his success on the big screen - starting with a small, but memorable role as a turncoat guide covered in spiders in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) - that spurred Molina to success. From there, his mixed heritage allowed Molina to play just about any nationality in a variety of roles - from a Russian sailor in "Letter to Brezhnev" (1985) to an Iranian in Western clothing in "Not Without My Daughter" (1991) to a Cuban refugee in "The Perez Family" (1995) and a Greek-American lawyer in "Before and After" (1996). Though often tapped to play villains - most notably as Dr. Octopus in the blockbuster sequel "Spider-Man 2" (2004) - he made his greatest impression as the pleasure-seeking artist Diego Rivera in "Frida" (2002), making clear to audiences that there were few roles Molina was not willing or able to play.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Desert Dancer (2015)
2.
3.
6.
 Swelter (2014)
7.
 Love Is Strange (2014)
8.
9.
10.
 Return to Zero (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1969:
Performed with the National Youth Theater company in London
1975:
Joined a children's theater company touring the English countryside with "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
:
Worked with provincial repertory companies in Newcastle, Liverpool, Hornchurch and Leiscester
1977:
Became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company
1981:
Film acting debut, "Raiders of the Lost Aark"
1985:
Returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company to appear as Petruchio in "The Taming of the Shrew"
1987:
Delivered a stunning performance as the bald, haunted Halliwell in Stephen Frears' "Prick Up Your Ears"
1991:
Portrayed an upper-class English husband in Mike Newell's comedy of manners "Enchanted April"
1991:
Played Sally Field's Iranian-born husband in "Not Without My Daughter"
1993:
Moved to the U.S.
1995:
Portrayed the head of a Cuban family in "The Perez Family"
1995:
Made NY stage debut in Brian Friel's "Molly Sweeney"
1997:
Starred as Levin in Bernard Rose's feature film version of "Anna Karenina"
1997:
Had a memorable role as a coked-up drug dealer in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights"
1998:
Made Broadway debut in Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play "Art"
1998:
Acted in the Stanley Tucci directed "The Imposter"
:
Formed (with Joan Hyler) the Molina Hyler Scissors production company
1999:
Cast as Snidely Whiplash in the feature version of "Dudley Do-Right"
1999:
Had a cameo role as an electronics store owner in Anderson's "Magnolia"
2000:
Cast as the narrow-minded mayor of a small French town in "Chocolat"
2001:
Appeared in an updated version of "Murder on the Orient Express" (CBS)
2002:
Portrayed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, alongside Salma Hayek in the biopic "Frida"; earned a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2002:
Co-starred in the CBS television series "Bram and Alice"
2003:
Supported Joseph Fiennes who played the religious reformer in the film "Luther"
2004:
Cast as the villain Dr. Octavius in "Spider-Man 2"
2004:
Cast as Tevye in the Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof"; earned a Tony Award nomination
2006:
Cast as Bishop Aringarosa in Ron Howard's big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code"
2007:
Co-starred opposite Richard Gere in Lasse Hallström's "The Hoax"
2009:
Co-starred with Steve Martin in "The Pink Panther 2"
2010:
Returned to Broadway to star in John Logan's drama, "Red"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Leading Actor in a Play
2010:
Played the villain opposite Nicolas Cage in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
2010:
Cast as Deputy District Attorney Ricardo Morales in "Law & Order: Los Angeles" (NBC)
2011:
Voiced Roadkill, a nine-banded armadillo in the computer-animated comedy "Rango"
2011:
Cast in the action drama "Abduction," starring Taylor Lautner
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Guildhall School of Music and Drama: London , England -

Notes

Molina earned a BAFTA nomination as Best Actor for "The Accountant" and a SWET Award nomination as Most Promising Newcomer for his Judd Frye in "Oklahoma!"

"I left in some disgrace, because, you see, my heroes aren't people like Olivier, Gielgud or Richardson, but comics. I've got a soft spot for the more vulgar end of the theatrical world, and my greatest hero is the [late] British comedian Tommy Cooper." [whom he decided to impersonate when it came time to deliver his line in a Shakespearean production.] "It got me a big laugh, but my contract wasn't renewed."---Alfred Molina on his difficulties with the Royal Shakespeare Company to NEWSDAY, January 21, 1996.

"When I was a kid, my heroes were all Americans, and even then I wanted to live there. But it was my secret, because saying that out loud to others wouldn't have been the coolest thing to do. Then, when I got to drama school, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the only one that would take me. We were expected to do Shakespeare and the classics. But all I ever wanted was to be in Westerns. So, naturally, I wanted to live here, but I had to wait till I was in my 40s to do so. My wife felt the same way, too, fortunately. She'd had a hugely successful TV series in England, but when that ended, she decided to try writing, and that's something she can do anywhere. She's had three novels published so far, but none here as yet."---Molina quoted in DAILY NEWS, March 2, 1998.

"I've never been quite sure what the word 'career' means. If it means I want to be at this place by the time I'm 40 or 50, then 'no,' I haven't got a career. I've never planned it."

"I've got a career in the same way a gypsy has a career. I just go from job to job. Sometimes I've done jobs because it is the only job available. Other times, I've had a choice and I've gone for the one I like best. And that's the only criteria I've ever had."

"I'm a character actor. That's what I've always wanted to be. Character actors tend to have longer careers. Now I've reached the point where I can't do anything else. It's a bit late now. And hopefully I will be working until I drop."---Alfred Molina to THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 26, 1998.

"I'm very proud of the fact that I can play all these different nationalities. I've done it with varying degrees of success, but at least with the best of intentions," he says. Still, he acknowledges, "I think at some point you run the danger of becoming everyone's favorite foreigner."---Molina on playing a wide varitety of characters to CNN, March 3, 2004.

"Playing villains is always fun, there's no two ways about it," he said. "There's always a lot of freedom and room to be inventive. I could go to my grave playing bad guys. I love it."---Molina quoted to CNN.com, June 28, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jill Gascoine. Actor, novelist. Met in 1982 when they were performing together in "Destry Rides Again"; starred as Det. Insp. Maggie Forbes in "The Gentle Touch" (LWT, 1980-1984) and reprised the role in a later series, "CATS Eyes" (TVS, 1985-1987).

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Rachel Molina. Born c. 1979.

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