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Alfred Molina was born in Paddington, London in 1953 to a Spanish father and Italian mother. He grew up in Notting Hill, where many other immigrant families lived. Molina decided he wanted to become an actor when he saw the film Spartacus aged nine, and went on to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as becoming a member of the National Youth Theatre.
Molina’s career started with a role in the 1978 sitcom, The Losers, which was followed by his film debut in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He played Satipo, Indiana Jones’ guide in the film’s opening sequence. He went on to have bigger roles in films like Letter to Brezhnev, Prick Up Your Ears and the classic British TV show Red Dwarf.
His stage work includes two major productions at the National Theatre: Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana and David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. His Broadway debut came in in 1998, performing in Yasmina Reza's play Art, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. He returned to Broadway in 2004 to play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, once again receiving a Tony Award nomination.
In December 2009, Molina played artist Mark Rothko in John Logan’s play Red, opposite Eddie Redmayne at the Donmar Warehouse. The play transferred to Broadway the following year, and saw Molina nominated for a Tony for the third time. He reprised his role as Rothko alongside Alfred Enoch at the Noel Coward Theatre in 2018. Watch an interview with Alfred Molina here.