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30 Amazing Facts About Alfred Molina You Probably Didn’t Know Before

Alfred Molina
(Photo : Gage Skidmore)

Alfred Molina, with his four decade long career in the entertainment industry, has garnered appreciation for his vivid portrayal of character-driven roles. Every role of his, be it in film or stage or television, has left a brilliant and ever lasting impression among the audiences. His performance in the iconic roles has earned him several accolades and nominations for Golden Globe Award, Primetime Emmy Award, BAFTA Award, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Tony Awards. Here are some really interesting facts about the actor that will make you love him more:

  1.  He is an advocate for people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and is known for his donations towards AIDS research, participates in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk.
  2.  He even appeared as himself in the documentary titled “Walk On,” produced by Joseph Kibler ( a HIV+ and paraplegic, since bird,), focusing on Kibler’s life.
  3.  On 1 April 2010, Molina opened at Broadway's John Golden Theatre in the role of Mark Rothko in John Logan's drama “Red” for a limited engagement through 27 June.
  4.  Being a die-hard fan of Marvel comics, he was very much excited to play the role of Doctor Octopus in the “Spider-Man 2.” He was also attracted to the twisted, sardonic sense of humour of the Doc Ock.
  5.  He narrated a 17-part original audiobook for Audible.com called “The Chopin Manuscript,” which won the 2008 Audiobook of the Year Award form Audio Publishers Association.
  6.  Alfredo Molina was born on May 24, 1953 to Esteban Molina and Giovanna in Paddington, London. He grew up in a working class district in Notting Hill that was inhabited by many other immigrant families.
  7.  His father was a Spanish immigrant from Madrid, who settled in England in 1939, working as a waiter and chauffeur. His mother was an Italian immigrant who moved to Britain after WWII, working as a cook and housekeeper.
  8.  After watching Spartacus, when he was 9 years old, he decided that he wanted to become an actor, and enrolled to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
  9.  He started out as a busker specializing in stand-up comedy and did several odd jobs to supplement his welfare cheque, before being accepted by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the year 1977.
  10.  He also auditioned for becoming a member of National Youth Theatre. He official changed his name to Alfred at the age of 21, at the urging of his first agent.
  11.  His film debut was with a minor role in the 1981 movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” as Sapito – ill-fated guide of Indiana Jones, in the iconic opening sequence.
  12.  His big break came with the 1985 movie “Letter to Brezhnev,” followed by a starring role of Kenneth Halliwell in “Prick Up Your Ears,” playing Joe Orton's lover.
  13.  In the early 1990s, he had a ubiquitous presence on British television, with his highest profile role being the lead in the first two series of “El C.I.D..”
  14.  He announced in the year 2004 that he had become a U.S. citizen. He moved to the La Cañada Flintridge, in Los Angeles County, California.
  15.  For his role as Diego Rivera in the 2002 movie “Frida,” he had to gain a total of 50 lbs (23 Kg), to achieve the required look of the character.
  16.  However, he had to shed the weight he gained for his next role of Doctor Octopus in the 2004 movie “Spider-Man 2,” as he wanted Doc Ock to have the build of a “1950’s weightlifter.”
  17.  In preparation for his role as Rahad Jackson in the 1997 movie “Boogie Nights,” he had to listen to the songs "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield or "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger repeatedly for three days.
  18.  This was because his character often sings along to these two songs in the movie, and he needed to know them by heart. Being from UK, he had never heard of these songs before filming this movie.
  19.  A patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain, he is a longtime member of the Los Angeles theatre company The New American Theatre, formerly known as Circus Theatricals.
  20.  During the filming of “Spider-Man 2,” he claimed that the stunt team, according to him the hardest working group of people, would often trick him into performing a stunt.
  21.  The gear of his character of Doc Ock weighed 75 pounds, and each one of Doc Ock’s tentacles were controlled by four people, who rehearsed every scene with Molina to get a more natural sense of movement.
  22.  Molina has three Lego Minifigures modelled after him, namely Doctor Octopus from “Spider-Man 2,” Satipo from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and Sheik Amar from “Prince of Persia.”
  23.  For his portrayal of Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody in “Not Without My Daughter,” Molina was once assaulted on his way to a rehearsal by a man who mistook him for Mahmoody.
  24.  During the production of “Spider-Man 2,” he was also simultaneously working in the play “Fiddler on the Roof,” playing the role of Tevye.
  25.  While filming a wall climbing scene in “Spider-Man 2,” he was humming the song "If I Were a Rich Man" to himself, overhearing which the puppeteers moved his tentacles in time to the song.
  26.  During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, he openly endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President.
  27.  He married actress Jill Gascoine in Tower Hamlets, London in the year 1986. The couple were married until her death on April 28, 2020 in Los Angeles from Alzheimer’s disease.
  28.  He has a daughter – Rachel Molina born in 1980, from his previous relationship. Following his marriage with Jill Gascoine, he also became the step-father to her sons – Adam and Sean from her previous relationship.
  29.  He was in a relationship with Jennifer Lee, a film director and CCO of Walt Disney Animation Studios, since late 2019, which Lee confirmed in November 2019.
  30.  The duo got married on August 9, 2021, in a private garden ceremony, with very minimal guests, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The couple shared photos of the ceremony on Instagram.
  31.  Alfred Molina Net Worth: $8 Million

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