Anthony Hopkins has been in the news recently, talking about his estranged daughter Abigail:
In his latest role, King Lear, he portrays a man who has a famously fraught relationship with his daughters.
And sadly, the same is true in real life for veteran actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. The 80-year-old has not spoken to daughter Abigail – his only child – for two decades.
Such is their estrangement that he does not even know if he is a grandfather (he isn’t!).
Sir Anthony said he ‘didn’t care’ about the family split, admitting that he was ‘cold’ about his 48-year-old daughter, who uses the name Abigail Harrison.
Asked if Miss Harrison – an actress and theatre director who changed her surname so that she could have a ‘career on her own terms’ – had children, Sir Anthony said: ‘I don’t have any idea. People break up. Families split and, you know, “get on with your life”. People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other. It is cold. Because life is cold.’
This is very sad for Abigail, who is a close personal friend of my partner and myself and who reverted to calling herself Abigail Hopkins many years ago. Abigail lived with us for nearly a year in the early 2000s, at the time when she was launching a solo career as a singer-songwriter. She set up her own record label as she wanted full creative control, and worked as a drama teacher to fund her venture.
Her first record was a commercial success and she has since produced another two albums under her own label. Abigail is also a talented actress and had minor roles in two of her father’s films, Shadowlands and The Remains Of The Day, after they had reconnected in the 90’s. Abi speaks more kindly of her father than his recent comments, saying simply: “I have found having a famous parent difficult. Changing my surname was a kind of shield.” and later : “I love my father. He has been very supportive. I really wish him well”.
I loved chatting to Abigail when she lived with us, she is a sensitive and gentle INFP type with a strong idealistic streak, and it was the period just before the West invaded Iraq after 9/11, so there was much to talk about!
We’re still in touch and hope that she makes it out to visit us in New Zealand one day.
Here’s her professional website:
And a video of one of her songs, which I feel gives a nice glimpse into her quirky personality: