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Alfred Molina is an English actor who belonged to the Royal Shakespeare Company and starred in the blockbuster Spider-Man 2.
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Alfred Molina was born on May 24, 1953 in London, England. He joined the National Youth Theater, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His first American film was Raiders of the Lost Ark and he has received Tony Award nominations for his Broadway work. Molina has been married to actress Jill Gascoine since the mid-1980s.
Actor Alfred Molina was born on May 24, 1953, in London, England. A versatile actor, Molina has played a diverse mix of personalities and nationalities, from Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in the film Frida to Teyve, a Jewish Russian milkman in a Broadway production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. He comes from a Spanish and Italian working-class background. His father was a waiter and his mother was a housekeeper.
As a child, Molina dreamed of becoming an actor. He started to make his dreams a reality by joining the National Youth Theater in 1969. After a few seasons with the theater company, Molina went to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He became a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company in 1977. As part of the company, Molina appeared in several productions, including Troilus and Cressida and King Lear.
Molina made quite a stir in the 1979 London production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, playing the Maniac. Two years later, he made his first American film, Raiders of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford as archaeologist Indiana Jones. This epic adventure film was directed by Stephen Spielberg, and became a huge box office smash. In the movie, Molina played Satipo, a treacherous South American tour guide. It was a small role involving some scary close encounters with tarantulas.
For years after Raiders, Molina landed small film roles and worked on television and the stage. The art-house film Prick Up Your Ears (1987) helped raise his profile. In the film, he played K. L. Halliwell, the lover of British playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman). The role provided Molina the opportunity to show his great range as an actor. Halliwell initially supported and encouraged Orton to pursue a career as a writer, but he later brutally beat his lover to death and then killed himself.
In 1991, Molina starred opposite Sally Field in the family drama Not Without My Daughter. He played Field’s husband, an Iranian doctor, who convinces her to travel back to his native country with their daughter. Once there, he refuses to let her leave with their child to return home to the United States. Truly an actor who can disappear in a role, Molina played a Cuban immigrant struggling to build a new life in Florida in The Perez Family (1995) with Marisa Tomei, Anjelica Huston and Chazz Palminteri.
By the end of the 1990s, Molina made his Broadway debut in Art with Alan Alda and Victor Garber. His performance as one of three friends who become embroiled in an argument about a work of modern art earned him his first Tony Award nomination.
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