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Born: May 24, 1953 London, England, UK
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Alfred Molina was born in London, England in 1953. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama moving through the theater circuit to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The TV audience’s first introduction to Alfred was in the six-episode series The Loders (1978). Two years later, he had his big screen debut in The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) starring Harrison Ford. Alfred was the treacherous assistant who said that he would give Indy the whip in exchange for the idol.
For the next few years, Molina would be found in smaller supporting roles in Meantime (1984), Ladyhawke (1985), Number One (1985), Eleni (1985) and Water (1985). His first lead role was in 1985’s Letter to Brezhnev. In 1987, he starred alongside Gary Oldman in Stephen Frear’s Prick Up Your Ears. He then went on to star in two TV series, Nativity Blues (1989) and El C.I.D, which ran from 1989-1991.
Molina gained much notice playing the tyrannical husband in 1991’s Not Without My Daughter opposite Sally Field. Also in 1991, he appeared in American Friends, The Trials of Oz (TV movie), Ashenden (mini series) and Hancock (TV movie).
In 1992, he was seen in Enchanted April with Miranda Richardson and Joan Plowright. In 1993, he appeared in The Trial and When Pigs Fly. He joined Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster in 1994’s big screen Maverick and also worked with Helen Slater in The Steal.
A busy year was to follow in 1995 when he appeared in five films: Hideaway starring Jeff Goldblum and Alicia Silverstone, The Perez Family with Marisa Tomei, Angelica Huston and Chazz Palminterri (where he garnered great reviews), Dead Man with Johnny Depp, Species alongside Ben Kingsley and Natasha Henstrige and finally, Nervous Energy. The next year, Molina was seen in Before and After (1996) starring Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson and Mojave Moon starring Danny Aiello and Angelina Jolie.
In 1997, Alfred he played Levin to Sophie Marceau’s lead in Anna Karenina. That same year, he had a role in Boogie Nights with Mark Wahlberg and starred opposite Bill Murray in The Man Who Knew Too Little.
Molina’s 1998 saw a supporting role in the hilarious movie The Imposters (1998) starring Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci. In 1999, two very different movies were added to his filmography: the dreadful Dudley Do-Right where he played Snidely K. ‘Whip’ Whiplash opposite Brendan Fraser and Sarah Jessica Parker and the brilliant Magnolia starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Jason Robards and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
In 2000, he co-starred in Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. The next year, he starred as Hercule Poirot in the TV flick Murder on the Orient Express (2001) and had a supporting role in the long-delayed Texas Rangers with James Van Der Beek, Rachael Leigh Cook and Ashton Kutcher.
In 2002, he starred with Salma Hayek in Frida and also starred in the short-lived TV series Bram and Alice. Keeping busy in 2003, Molina appeared in My Life Without Me with Sarah Polley and Scott Speedman, Identity with John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet and John C. McGinley, Coffee and Cigarettes with Roberto Benigni and Cate Blanchett and Luther co-starring with Joseph Fiennes.
He added to his already impressive list of genres by playing supervillian Doc Ock opposite Tobey Maguire in 2004’s Spider-Man 2.
In 2005, Molina appeared as the same character in both Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. A busy 2006 saw him in The Da Vinci Code with Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, As You Like It with Bryce Dallas Howard, The Hoax with Richard Gere and Orchids directed by As You Like It co-star Bryce Dallas Howard. The following year, Alfred was in The Moon and the Stars with Jonathan Pryce and Catherine McCormack, Silk with Keira Knightley and The Little Traitor opposite Ido Port.
In 2008, he starred in Nothing Like the Holidays alongside Elizabeth Pena, Freddy Rodriguez and Luis Guzman. A busy 2009 saw Molina in The Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin, An Education with Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard and Dominic Cooper and The Lodger with Simon Baker.
Though Molina has had a busy film and TV career, he has never been too far away from the stage, whether it be Taming of the Shrew in 1985, the British production of Speed-the-Plow where he received an Olivier nomination or in his Broadway debut in Art.
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