Molina in October 2009
24 May 1953
|Occupation||Actor, voice artist|
(m. 1986; died 2020)
|Children||1 (2 adopted sons)|
Alfred Molina (born Alfredo Molina; 24 May 1953) is an English-American actor and voice actor who has appeared in over 200 film, television, and stage productions. He first rose to prominence in the West End, earning a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in a Play nomination for his performance in the production of Oklahoma! in 1980. He made his Broadway debut as Yvan in a production of Art from 1998 to 1999. His other Broadway roles include Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof from 2004 to 2005 and Mark Rothko in the play Red from 2009 to 2010.
On screen, his best known roles include Kenneth Halliwell in Prick Up Your Ears (1987), Mellersh Wilkins in Enchanted April (1992), Rahad Jackson in Boogie Nights (1997), Comte de Reynuad in Chocolat (2000), Diego Rivera in Frida (2002), Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 (2004), Bishop Aringarosa in The Da Vinci Code (2006), Jack Mellor in An Education (2009), and George in Love Is Strange (2014). He has voiced characters in Rango (2011), Monsters University (2013), Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), and Frozen II (2019).
Molina's work has brought him widespread acclaim. For his portrayal of Robert Aldrich in the miniseries Feud (2017), he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. He received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Frida, and has also been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, a British Independent Film Award, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Tony Awards.
He was born Alfredo Molina in Paddington, London. His father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish immigrant from Madrid, who came to England in 1939, and worked as a waiter and chauffeur. His mother, Giovanna (née Bonelli), was an Italian immigrant who was a house-keeper who emigrated to Britain after WWII, and who cleaned rooms in a hotel and worked as a cook. 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, as well as auditioning for and becoming a member of National Youth Theatre. At the age of 21, he changed his name to Alfred, at the urging of his first agent.
Molina appeared with Leonard Rossiter in the sitcom The Losers (1978). He made his film debut with a minor role in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) as Indiana Jones' ill-fated guide, Satipo, during its iconic opening sequence. However, his big break came with Letter to Brezhnev (1985), which he followed with a starring role in Prick Up Your Ears (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 was replaced by Chris Barrie.
In the early 1990s, Molina was a ubiquitous presence on British television, with his highest 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 midwestern American accent, Molina starred alongside Betty White in the US television series Ladies Man, which ran from 1999–2001. In 1993 he appeared in the BBC miniseries adaptation of A Year in Provence, playing the annoying Tony, along with John Thaw and Lindsay Duncan.
Molina has worked twice with Paul Thomas Anderson, first in Boogie Nights (1997) and then in Magnolia (1999). He gained wide recognition for his portrayal of Diego Rivera alongside Salma Hayek in the biopic Frida (2002), a role for which he gained BAFTA and SAG award nominations. He played himself alongside Steve Coogan in Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) and gained further commercial recognition when he portrayed the villain Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 (2004), which became one of the highest-grossing films of that year. For the latter, Molina was nominated for a Satellite award as Best Supporting Actor. He reprised his role in the video game adaptation. 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. He 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, Molina 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 and revisited that role at the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End in 2018.
Molina is one of only two actors (the other being Chris Pratt) to have three Lego Minifigures modelled after him, namely 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. He 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. He recalled getting the job as a "gift from God" and said "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."
In addition to acting, Molina is an advocate for people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). He donates towards AIDS research, participates in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk and appeared as himself in a documentary produced by Joseph Kibler (who has been HIV+ and paraplegic since his birth, c. 1989) about Kibler's life entitled Walk On, first screened in 2013.
|1978||The Losers||Nigel||6 episodes|
|1982||Anyone for Denis?||Eric||Television film|
|Reilly, Ace of Spies||Yakov Blumkin||Episode: "Gambit"|
|1985||Number One||D.C. Rogers||Television film|
|Angels in the Annexe||Mike Brittain||Television film|
|C.A.T.S. Eyes||Detective Sergeant Cropper||Episode: "Blue for Danger"|
|1986||Casualty||Harry Horner||Episode: "Jump Start"|
|1987||Miami Vice||Esther's Attorney||Episode: "The Big Thaw"|
|1989||The Accountant||Lionel Ellerman||Television film|
|Saracen||Jose Morazan||Episode: "Proof of Death"|
|1989–92||Screen One||Various||4 episodes|
|1989–95||Screen Two||Various||4 episodes|
|1990–92||El C.I.D.||Bernard Blake||13 episodes|
|1991||Ashenden||Carmona||Episode: "The Hairless Mexican"|
|Performance||George Melly||Episode: "The Trials of Oz"|
|Boon||Mike Hubble||Episode: "The Night Before Christmas"|
|1994||Requiem Apache||Hamish – Getaway Driver||Television film|
|1996||Tracey Takes On...||Mr. Dragotti||Episode: "Royalty"|
|1998||The Wild Thornberrys||Elcio (voice)||Episode: "Only Child"|
|1999–01||Ladies Man||Jimmy Stiles||30 episodes; also producer|
|2001||Murder on the Orient Express||Hercule Poirot||Television film|
|2002||Bram & Alice||Bram||9 episodes|
|2003||Justice League||King Gustav (voice)||Episode: "Maid of Honor"|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Gabriel Duvall||Episode: "Night"|
|Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Gabriel Duvall||Episode: "Day"|
|2007||Monk||Peter Magneri||Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"|
|The Company||Harvey 'The Sorcerer' Torriti||6 episodes|
|2009||Yes, Virginia||Francis Church (voice)||Television film|
|The Lodger||Detective Chandler Manning||Television film, Jack the Ripper copycat|
|2010–11||Law & Order: LA||Detective Ricardo Morales||16 episodes|
|2010–12||Roger & Val Have Just Got In||Roger Stephenson||12 episodes|
|2010–12||The Life & Times of Tim||Chairman (voice)||2 episodes|
|2011||Harry's Law||Eric Sanders||3 episodes|
|Innocent||Alejando "Sandy" Stern||Television film|
|2012||Kung Fu Panda:
Legends of Awesomeness
|Ke-Pa (voice)||Episode: "Enter the Dragon"|
|Loving Miss Hatto||Barrie||Television film|
|Gravity Falls||Multi-Bear (voice)||3 episodes|
|2012–20||Robot Chicken||Lex Luthor / Various Characters (voice)||7 episodes|
|2013||Monday Mornings||Dr. Harding Hooten||10 episodes|
|Drunk History||Arthur Conan Doyle||Episode: "Detroit"|
|2014||Rick and Morty||The Devil (voice)||Episode: "Something Ricked This Way Comes"|
|Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey||Alhazen (voice)||Episode: "Hiding in the Light"|
|The Normal Heart||Ben Weeks||Television film|
|Matador||Andrés Galan||13 episodes|
|2014–17||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Rippen (voice)||55 episodes|
|2015||Show Me a Hero||Henry J. Spallone||6 episodes|
|Axe Cop||Various (voices)||2 episodes|
|Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures||Norbert (voice)||Episode: "Fishy Business"|
|Long Live the Royals||Rupert / Neil (voices)||2 episodes|
|2016–18||DreamWorks Dragons||Viggo Grimborn (voice)||22 episodes|
|2016–17||Angie Tribeca||Dr. Edelweiss||Uncredited|
|2016||Close to the Enemy||Harold Lindsay-Jones||7 episodes|
|Sister Cities||Mort||Television film; also executive producer|
|American Dad!||Tow Truck Driver (voice)||Episode: "Father's Daze"|
|2017||Feud: Bette and Joan||Robert Aldrich||6 episodes|
|I'm Dying Up Here||Carl Veisor||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie||Lasombra (voice)||Television film|
|2018–19||Summer Camp Island||Various voices||7 episodes|
|2018||I Feel Bad||Max||Episode: "My Kids Barely Know Their Culture"|
|2019||3Below: Tales of Arcadia||Archie (voice)||Episode: "A Glorious End, Part Two"|
|2020||Big City Greens||Cogburn (voice)||Episode: "Animal Farm"|
|Solar Opposites||The Duke (voice)||4 episodes|
|Harley Quinn||Mr. Freeze, Stew (voices)||2 episodes|
|Family Guy||Panamanian Man (voice)||Episode: "Coma Guy"|
|Crossing Swords||Robin Hood (voice)||Episode: "Hot Tub Death Machine"|
|2004||Spider-Man 2||Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus|
|2014||The Elder Scrolls Online||Abnur Tharn|
|2017||Wilson's Heart||Bela Belascó|
|2019||The Elder Scrolls Online – Elsweyr||Abnur Tharn|
|2019||The Elder Scrolls Online – Dragonhold||Abnur Tharn|
|1980–1981||Oklahoma!||Jud Fry||Palace Theatre (London)|
|1982||Can't Pay? Won't Pay!||Giovanni||Royal Court Theatre|
|1989||Speed-the-Plow||Bobby Gould||Royal National Theatre|
|1991||Henry IV, Part 1||John of Lancaster||The Public Theater|
|1992||The Night of the Iguana||Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon||Royal National Theatre|
|1995–1996||Molly Sweeney||Frank Sweeney||Laura Pels Theatre|
|1998||Art||Yvan||Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre|
|2001||True West||Lee||Skirball Cultural Center|
|2002||Richard III||Duke of Buckingham||Odyssey Theatre|
|2004–2005||Fiddler on the Roof||Tevye||Minskoff Theatre|
|2006||The Cherry Orchard||Lopakhin||Mark Taper Forum|
|2007||Howard Katz||Howard Katz||Laura Pels Theatre|
|2009–2010||Red||Mark Rothko||Donmar Warehouse|
John Golden Theatre
|2017||Long Day's Journey into Night||James Tyrone||Geffen Playhouse|
|2018||Red||Mark Rothko||Wyndham's Theatre|
Awards and nominations
- Leitereg, Neal J. "'Feud' star Alfred Molina snaps up view-house in La Cañada Flintridge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
- Clark, Alex (25 April 2018). "Alfred Molina - actor - interview". The Stage. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
- Henderson, Kathy (26 February 2007). "Broadway Buzz: Q&A: Alfred Molina". Broadway.com. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- 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". CNN. Archived from the original on 4 April 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Díaz, Katharine A. "Accents Make the Man: Actor Alfred Molina makes diversity a trademark". Hispanic (July/August 2004). Archived from the original on 30 October 2006.
- "Alfred Molina Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 24 May 1953. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Secher, Benjamin (28 April 2018). "Alfred Molina interview: 'All men are raised to talk down to women'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 23 March 2020 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Lewishohn, Mark (2003). Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. London: BBC Worldwide. ISBN 978-0-563-48755-5.
- Pelley, Rich (5 March 2019). "How we made Red Dwarf". The Guardian.
- "Comics Continuum cast list". Comicscontinuum.com. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "The Audies 2008 Winners". Audio Publishers Association. 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- Baluch, Lalayn (17 April 2009). "West to appear in Donmar's Life is a Dream". The Stage. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Michael Billington (15 May 2018). "Red review – Alfred Molina's portrait is as layered as a Rothko canvas". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- "Molina stars opposite Dawn French". BBC News. 15 September 2009.
- Stanhope, Kate (24 July 2010). "Alfred Molina Signs on to Law & Order: Los Angeles". TVGuide.com.
- Bobbin, Jay (7 January 2013). "'Raiders of the Lost Ark's' Alfred Molina: How Indiana Jones 'saved my bacon'". Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "The Gentle Touch star Jill Gascoine". The Guardian.
- Kirkland, Bruce (27 June 2004). "Alfred Molina set for big-time recognition". JAM! Movies. Canoe Inc. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Leitereg, Neal J. (25 July 2017). "'Feud' star Alfred Molina snaps up view-house in La Cañada Flintridge". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "Alfred Molina – Interview". Ability. December 2011 – January 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- Mahbubani, Rhea (27 April 2013). "Walking with pride, support and strength". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- "Walk On". Santa Fe Film Festival. 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- Mason, Melanie; Moore, Maloy; Lauder, Thomas Suh (22 October 2015). "The Hollywood heavyweights funding the 2016 presidential fight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- Dowd, Maureen (7 November 2019). "Jennifer Lee, Queen of the 'Frozen' Franchise". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- Goldberg, Lesley (5 May 2016). "Ryan Murphy Anthology 'Feud,' Starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, Set at FX". Hollywood Reporter.
- Eakin, Marah (13 June 2016). "Exclusive: Hey Arnold! movie gets a name, hefty slate of returning voice actors". AV Club.
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