Alfred Molina Biography

Alfred Molina Biography on Monsters and Critics


"Alfred Molina" (born May 24, 1953) is a Tony Award-nominated English stage and film actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the villain Doctor Octopus in "Spider-Man 2" as well as playing key roles in "Not Without My Daughter", "Chocolat", "Frida" and "The Da Vinci Code".


Early life

Molina was born in London. His father was a Spanish Communist from Madrid who worked as a waiter and chauffeur, while his mother was an Italian housekeeper who also cleaned rooms in a hotel and worked as a cook. Molina grew up in a 'working-class neighborhood' in Notting Hill that was inhabited by many other immigrant families. He wanted to become an actor after seeing "Spartacus" at the age of nine, and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


Molina made his film debut in the 1981 movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark", but 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 Kenneth Halliwell.

Other films include "Species", "Dudley Do-Right", "Chocolat", "Not Without My Daughter", and "Enchanted April". He has worked twice with Paul Thomas Anderson, first in "Boogie Nights" and then "Magnolia". In 2002, Molina portrayed the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera alongside Salma Hayek in "Frida". In 2003 he played himself alongside Steeve Coogan in Coffee and Cigarettes. In 2006, Molina portrayed Touchstone in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Shakespeare's "As You Like It". The production played in theatres in Europe, but went straight to cable television in the U.S., premiering on HBO in August of 2007.

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.

In 2007, Molina narrated a 17-part original audiobook for 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.

Personal life

Molina has been married to actress Jill Gascoine since 1985. He has a daughter Rachel (born 1980) from a previous relationship, and two stepsons (Adam and Sean), from Jill's first marriage. He is also a grandfather to Alfie (born Nov 2003) and Layla (born May 2006).

He stated on "The Late Late Show" with Craig Ferguson that he has taken U.S. citizenship.


"The Losers" (television) as Nigel

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) as Sapito

"Letter to Brezhnev" (1985) as Sergei

"Ladyhawke" (1985) as Cezar

"Prick Up Your Ears" (1987) as Kenneth Halliwell

"Virtuoso" (1989) (TV) as John Ogdon

"Hancock" (1991) (TV) as Tony Hancock

"Not Without My Daughter" (1991) as Moody

"American Friends" (1991) as Oliver Syme

"Enchanted April" (1992) as Mellersh Wilkins

"Maverick" (1994) as Angel

"Species" (1995) as Dr. Stephan Arden

"The Perez Family" (1995) as Juan Raúl Perez

"Dead Man" (1995) as Trading Post Missionary

"Hideaway" (1995) as Dr. Jonas Nyebern

'Before and After' (1996) as Panos Demeris

"Anna Karenina" (1997) as Levin

"Boogie Nights" (1997) as Rahad Jackson (Eddie Nash)

"The Man Who Knew Too Little" (1997) as Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky

"The Impostors" (1998) as Sir Jeremy Burtom

"Dudley Do-Right" (1999) as Snidely K. 'Whip' Whiplash

"Magnolia" (1999) as Solomon Solomon

"Chocolat" (2000) as Comte De Reynaud

"Murder on the Orient Express" (2001) as Hercule Poirot

"Frida" (2002) as Diego Rivera

"My Life Without Me" (2003) as Ann's Father

"Identity" (2003) as Dr. Malick

"Coffee and Cigarettes" (2003) as Himself

"Luther (2003 film)" (2003) as Johann Tetzel

"Crónicas" (2004) as Victor Hugo Puente

"Spider-Man 2" (2004) as Doctor Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus

"Steamboy" (2004) as James Edward Steam

"Undertaking Betty" (2004) as Boris Plots

"The Da Vinci Code" (2006) as Bishop Manuel Aringarosa

"As You Like It" (2006) as Touchstone

"Spider-Man 3" (2007) as Doctor Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus (titles sequence)

"Silk" (2007) as Baldabiou

"The Hoax" (2007)

"After.Life" (2008) as Eliot

"The Pink Panther Deux" (2009) as Randall Pepperidge

External links

(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) at (


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article about Alfred Molina.