Alfred Molina, December 2009
24 May 1953
Paddington, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Jill Gascoine (m. 1986)|
Alfred Molina (born Alfredo Molina; 24 May 1953) is an English actor, known for his roles in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Prick Up Your Ears, Boogie Nights, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Spider-Man 2, Maverick, Species, Not Without My Daughter, Chocolat, Frida, Steamboy, The Hoax, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Da Vinci Code, The Little Traitor, An Education, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Rango.
Molina was born in Paddington, London. His mother, Giovanna (née Bonelli), was an Italian house-keeper who cleaned rooms in a hotel and worked as a cook. His father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish immigrant from Madrid who worked as a waiter and chauffeur. Molina grew up in a working class district in Notting Hill that was inhabited by many other immigrant families. He decided to become an actor after seeing Spartacus at the age of nine, and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Alfred also auditioned and was accepted as a member of National Youth Theatre
In 1978, Molina starred with Leonard Rossiter in the sitcom The Losers. Molina made his film debut with a minor, but memorable role in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark as Indiana Jones' ill-fated guide, Satipo, during its iconic opening sequence. However, his big break came with Letter to Brezhnev in 1985, which he followed up with a starring role in Prick Up Your Ears in 1987, playing Joe Orton's lover (and eventual murderer) Kenneth Halliwell. He was originally cast as Arnold Rimmer in the TV sitcom Red Dwarf, but he was replaced by Chris Barrie.
Molina was a ubiquitous presence on British television in the early 1990s, with his most high-profile role being the lead in the first two series of El C.I.D. Subsequent film roles included Species, Dudley Do-Right, Chocolat, Not Without My Daughter and Enchanted April. With a mid-western American accent, Molina starred alongside Betty White in the US television series Ladies Man, which ran from 1999–2001.
He has worked twice with Paul Thomas Anderson, first in Boogie Nights and then Magnolia. In 2002, Molina gained wide recognition for his portrayal of Diego Rivera alongside Salma Hayek in the biopic Frida, a role which garnered him BAFTA and SAG award nominations. In 2003, he played himself alongside Steve Coogan in Coffee and Cigarettes. In 2004, Molina gained further commercial recognition when he was cast as the villain Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, which went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of that year. He later reprised his role of Doctor Octopus in the video game adaption of Spider-Man 2 and archive footage of Molina as Doctor Octopus is seen in the opening of Spider-Man 3. In 2006, Molina portrayed Touchstone in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Shakespeare's As You Like It and appeared in Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. Molina provided the voice of the villain Ares in the 2009 animated film Wonder Woman.
Molina's stage work has included two major Royal National Theatre productions, Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana (as Shannon) and David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow (as Fox). In his Broadway debut, Molina performed in Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play 'Art', for which he received a Tony nomination in 1998. In 2004, Molina returned to the stage, starring as Tevye in the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. For his performance he once again received a Tony Award nomination, this time for Best Actor in a Musical. Molina received his third Tony Award nomination for Red in 2010, for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.
In 2007, Molina narrated a 17-part original audiobook for Audible.com called The Chopin Manuscript. This serialized novel was written by a team of 15 best-selling thriller writers, including Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, Joseph Finder and Lisa Scottoline. The novel won the 2008 Audiobook Of The Year Award form Audio Publishers Association.
On 1 April 2010, he opened at Broadway's John Golden Theatre in the role of artist Mark Rothko in John Logan's drama Red opposite Eddie Redmayne for a limited engagement through 27 June. He had played the role to much critical success at the Donmar Warehouse in London in December 2009.
He is the only actor to have three Lego Minifigures modelled after him, with them being Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2, Satipo from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sheik Amar from Prince of Persia.
In July 2010, it was announced that Molina had joined the cast of Law & Order: LA as Deputy District Attorney Morales. He previously guest-starred in a two-part crossover in 2005 in two other Law & Order franchise shows, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Trial by Jury.
Molina is a patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain. Molina is also a longtime member of the Los Angeles theatre company The New American Theatre, formerly known as Circus Theatricals, where he often teaches Shakespeare and Scene Study along with the company's artistic director Jack Stehlin.
Molina stated in an interview in 2013 that he owes his stage and film career to the Indiana Jones series. "I'm very, very proud of that, I have to admit I didn't think at the time, 'Oh, this is going to go down in movie history.' I'd never been in front of a camera before," Molina said about his short but memorable appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Molina recalls getting the job as a "gift from god" and goes on to say "I've publicly thanked Steven many, many times. That job saved my bacon, in more ways than one." About his now famous line in the film Molina stated that "I've never had a problem with people coming up to me about it. They'll shout that line to me, 'Throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip!' I'm delighted that people still remember it."
He married actress Jill Gascoine in 1986 in Tower Hamlets, London. He has a daughter, London based photographer Rachel Molina (born 1980), from a previous relationship, and two stepsons (Adam and Sean), from Gascoine's first marriage. He is also a grandfather to Alfie (born November 2003) and Layla (born May 2006).
In addition to acting, Molina is an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) advocate. Not only does he donate towards AIDS research, but also participates in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk and recently played a role in Joseph Kibler's (a 21 year-old AIDS survivor's) documentary Walk On.
Awards and nominations
- "Alfred Molina, Q&A Interview: Broadway.com Buzz". Broadway.com. Retrieved 3 August 2010.[dead link]
- Hattenstone, Simon (15 July 2004). "I give good foreign". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Current biography yearbook, Volume 65. H. W. Wilson Co. 2004. p. 381.
- "Alfred Molina scales new heights in 'Fiddler on the Roof'". Archived from the original on 2004-04-04. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Hispanic Magazine.com – July/August 2004 – Alfred Molina – Cover Story[dead link]
- "Alfred Molina Biography — Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. 24 May 1953. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Lewishohn, Mark (2003). Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. London: BBC Worldwide. ISBN 0-563-48755-0.
- "Comics Continuum cast list". Comicscontinuum.com. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Lalayn Baluch (17 April 2009). "The Stage / News / West to appear in Donmar's Life is a Dream". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Molina stars opposite Dawn French http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8256871.stm
- "Alfred Molina Signs on to Law & Order: Los Angeles". TVGuide.com.
- "'Raiders of the Lost Ark's' Alfred Molina: How Indiana Jones 'saved my bacon". Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "CANOE — JAM! Movies — Artists — Molina, Alfred: Alfred Molina set for big-time recognition". Jam.canoe.ca. 27 June 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "Marriages England and Wales 1984–2005". Findmypast.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Alfred Molina — Interview, ABILITY Magazine.
- Longtime Friends Lithgow And Molina Play Longtime Couple In 'Love Is Strange'
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alfred Molina.|
- Alfred Molina at the Internet Movie Database
- Alfred Molina at the Internet Broadway Database
- Alfred Molina at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Alfred Molina interviewed on Downstage Center XM Radio at American Theatre Wing, November 2004
- Working in the Theatre: Performance video seminar at American Theatre Wing, April 1998
- Q&A: Alfred Molina
- Alfred Molina — Interview with ABILITY Magazine