Anthony Hopkins health: Actor refers to life as ‘terminal condition’ as he embraces death

Anthony Hopkins pays tribute to his father at gravestone

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Being labelled as Port Talbot’s most famous son in a homage to the place in Wales that he was born, Sir Anthony made his acting debut in 1960. By the 1980s he had made his way to the West End stage and won his first Academy Award for The Silence of the Lambs in 1991. More recently, in a raw interview the star has spoken about his health, and the realities of his life coming to an end.

Referring to life as a “terminal condition”, the actor spoke more to The Mirror about his outlook on life as he gets further into his 80s.

The star said: “There’s a tremendous freedom because there is nothing I can do about it.

“Your life is terminal. It’s a terminal condition, you’re not going to get off the planet alive.

“With that reality there’s a tremendous freedom, a wonderful peacefulness about it.”

These thoughts on both life and death were undoubtedly triggered by his role in The Father, where he played an elderly father struggling with dementia as he battles with his daughter, played by Olivia Colman.

Sir Anthony reflected on his own parent’s death, who passed away at the age of 89. He added: “I remember when my mother was dying, she’d just had enough.

“I remember [my father as] this once strong, robust man, declining and depressed — and fearful.

“He was irritable and irascible, he didn’t want fuss, and I’m a bit like that.”

In relation to his own health, Sir Anthony took to Twitter to reveal the one decision in his life that he credits for saving him.

In December last year the star celebrated 45 years of sobriety. In a viral video he said: “It’s been a tough year full of grief and sadness for many, many, many people, but 45 years ago today I had a wake-up call.

“I was headed for disaster, I was drinking myself to death.

“I’m not preachy but I got a message, a little thought that said, ‘Do you want to live or die?’ and I said ‘I want to live.’

“The hallmark of anyone who is hooked on cigarettes or booze or food, whatever the addiction is, is the stubbornness.

“On my first day free of booze, a friend asked, ‘How do you feel?’ I said, ‘inadequate.’

“And then it hit me that, of course, we all are. None of us is of any importance at all.”

Drinkaware explains that alcoholism is the most serious form of problem drinking and is defined as a strong, often uncontrollable desire to drink.

Although it can be tricky to spot the signs of alcoholism, it is important to be aware of them in order to help someone in need.

The following could be signs that someone is suffering from alcoholism:

  • A lack of interest in previously normal activities
  • Appearing intoxicated more regularly
  • Needing to drink more in order to achieve the same effects
  • Appearing tired, unwell or irritable
  • An inability to say no to alcohol
  • Anxiety, depression or other mental health problems
  • Becoming secretive or dishonest.

In the UK, men and women are advised by the NHS not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Instead individuals should spread their drinking over three or more days and try to have several “drink-free days” each week.

Those who drink more than 12 units of alcohol are considered at high risk of developing alcohol poisoning, affecting many of the body’s functions. In the worst case this can lead to a person falling into a coma and even dying. In the long-term alcoholism can lead to health risks such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Liver cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Sexual problems, such as impotence or premature ejaculation
  • Infertility.

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