(Michael Billington’s article appeared the Guardian, 5/20.)

I was glancing at an old National Theatre programme the other day and two names leaped out at me. Among the cast listing for "sailors, servants etc" in a 1965 production of Congreve's Love for Love, I noticed Anthony Hopkins and Mike Gambon (as he then was). Both rose spectacularly from the ranks, became acting heavyweights and achieved knighthoods. But where Hopkins virtually forsook the stage to become a Hollywood star, Gambon has combined theatre, film and television to become one of of our most cherished actors. He's not merely liked; he's loved.



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