Sir Anthony Hopkins declined Oscars invite—but still went on to become oldest ever winner

What a legend!

Anthony Hopkins smiling
(Image credit: Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

Legendary Welsh actor Sir Anthony Hopkins scooped the best actor award for his role in The Father at last night's Oscars but had declined his invite to the glitzy ceremony. Last night's Oscars was a night full of surprises from Frances McDormand's acceptance speech that saw her howling on stage, to Glenn Close's impromptu dance to 'Da'Butt'. 

But in perhaps the most unexpected turn of events, Anthony became the oldest ever Oscar winner at 83 as he took home the award which many had expected would go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The prediction didn’t go unnoticed as Anthony went on to remember Chadwick in the acceptance speech he posted to Instagram this morning, saying, “he was taken from us far too early".

It’s not the first time Anthony has taken home the best actor award, his memorable performance in the chilling movie Silence of the Lambs saw him scoop the award back in 1992 but for this award, Anthony wasn’t in attendance.

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Why was Anthony Hopkins not at the Oscars?

A select few were invited to the actual Oscars ceremony this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and while Anthony is currently residing in the UK he chose to shun the virtual ceremony, opting instead to visit his father's grave in Wales where he read the Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

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Did Anthony Hopkins do an acceptance speech?

As Anthony wasn’t present for the 2021 Oscars he didn’t do an acceptance speech on the night of the awards ceremony. However, he did take to Instagram this morning to give his thanks in a humble video with the rolling hills of Wales behind him. Speaking to the camera he said,

“Good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales and at 83 years of age, I did not expect to get this award. I really didn’t and I’m very grateful to the academy."

He continued, "I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman who was taken from us far too early. And again, thank you all very much. I really did not expect this so I feel very privileged and honored. Thank you.”

Celebrity fans jumped in to offer their own congratulations to the legendary actor with Hugh Jackman commenting, “A gorgeous performance!” while Alec Baldwin simply replied, “Holy wow”

How many Oscars does Anthony Hopkins have?

This will be the second Oscar win for Anthony Hopkins who scooped his first back in 1992 for his legendary performance of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the psychological thriller Silence of the Lambs.

Over the course of his career, Anthony has been nominated for an Oscar six times, for roles in The Remains of the Day in 1994, Nixon in 1996, Amistad in 1998, and The Two Popes in 2020.

What is The Father about?

Anthony Hopkins plays Anthony in the Father, a heart-wrenching movie about a father with dementia. The film unravels as Anthony starts to refuse help from his daughter and doubt his loved ones. 

Written and directed by Florian Zeller who scooped an award for best adapted screenplay, Olivia Coleman also stars making this one movie not to miss. The Father is available now on Prime Video in the US and will be available for UK fans on June 11.

Lydia Swinscoe
Lifestyle News Editor

Lydia is woman&home’s Lifestyle News Editor and a freelance travel writer. Day-to-day she manages an international team of nine news writers and oversees all news content on woman& Her travel writing has been published in BBC Good Food, Oh magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Town&Country, ELLE, MailOnline, Woman, and woman&home.