Alfredo "Alfred" Molina is an English actor, known for his roles in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Enchanted April (1992), Maverick (1994), Boogie Nights (1997), Chocolat (2000), Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Da Vinci Code (2006), An Education (2009), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Rango (2011) and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016).
Molina was born in Paddington, London on May 24, 1953. His father, Esteban Molina, was a Spaniard immigrant from Madrid who worked as a waiter and chauffeur. His mother, Giovanna (née Bonelli), was an Italian housekeeper who cleaned rooms in a hotel and worked as a cook. Molina grew up in a working class district in Notting Hill that was inhabited by many other immigrant families. He decided to become an actor after seeing the film Spartacus at the age of nine, and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. There, he started out as a busker specializing in stand-up comedy and doing odd jobs to supplement his welfare check, before being accepted by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1977. He also auditioned and was accepted as a member of the National Youth Theatre, a charity that uses theater to inspire creativity in young people. He then went on to study drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Molina is an accomplished actor whose diverse and distinguished gallery of performances has led to a lengthy and triumphant career. Some of his most unforgettable performances include portraying hedonistic Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in the biopic Frida (2002 SAG Award - nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role), Jewish milkman Teyve in the 2004 Broadway revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Award - nominated for Best Actor), deranged drug dealer Rahad Jackson in the critically-acclaimed film Boogie Nights (1997), comic book villain Doc Ock in the blockbuster hit sequel Spider-Man 2 (2004), and the John Logan play Red (Tony Award - nominated for Best Lead Actor) in which Molina portrayed the artist Mark Rothko.
Recently, Molina has showed off his chops in the Ryan Murphy directed HBO film The Normal Heart (2014 Emmy - nominated for Outstanding Best Supporting Actor), HBO’s critically-acclaimed miniseries Show Me a Hero (2015) for director Paul Haggis, TBS comedy series Angie Tribeca (2016), Paramount Pictures feature Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) co-starring with Tina Fey, and most recently British period drama miniseries Close to the Enemy opposite Jim Sturgess and Freddie Highmore for the BBC.
Still in the pipeline are Showtime’s comedy-drama series I’m Dying Up Here, indie features: Message from the King opposite Teresa Palmer and Luke Evans, The Headhunter’s Calling opposite Gerard Butler, and Sister Cities for director Sean Hanish and feature films: Road to Capri opposite Virginia Madsen, an adaptation of the Janet Fitch novel Paint it Black, and Breakable You opposite Tony Shalhoub, Holly Hunter, and Anna Paquin.
Molina will next be revisiting his roots with a role in Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize winning drama A Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Geffen Playhouse, and he is currently starring as film director Robert Aldrich in the FX anthology series FEUD: Bette and Joan, from Executive Producer Ryan Murphy.
Molina currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and announced in 2004 that he had officially become a U.S. citizen. In 1986, he married actress Jill Gascoine in Tower Hamlets, London. He has a daughter, London based photographer Rachel Molina (born 1980), from a previous relationship, and two stepsons (Adam and Sean Keith), from Gascoine's first marriage. He is also a grandfather to Alfie (born November 2003) and Layla (born May 2006).
In addition to acting, Molina is an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) advocate. Not only does he donate towards AIDS research, but also participates in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk and has appeared as himself in a documentary produced by Joseph Kibler, who has been HIV+ and paraplegic since his birth, about Kibler's life entitled Walk On, first screened in 2013.
- Molina's southern European background has allowed him to play characters of almost any heritage.
- He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian.
- He used to teach Shakespeare at Circus Theatricals in Los Angeles.
|Bette and Joan|