Alfred Molina was born in 1953 in London, England. His mother, Giovanna (Bonelli), was an Italian-born cook and cleaner, and his father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish-born waiter and chauffeur. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. His stage work includes two major Royal National Theatre productions, Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana" (as Shannon) and David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" (as Fox), plus a splendid performance in Yasmina Reza's "Art" (his Broadway debut), for which he received a Tony Award nomination in 1998. He made his film debut in I predatori dell'arca perduta (1981) and got a good part in Lettera a Breznev (1985) (as a Soviet sailor who spends a night in Liverpool), but his movie breakthrough came two years later when he played--superbly--Kenneth Halliwell, the tragic lover of playwright Joe Orton, in Stephen Frears' Prick Up - L'importanza di essere Joe (1987). He was also outstanding in Un incantevole aprile (1991), La famiglia Perez (1995) (as a Cuban immigrant), Anna Karénine (1997) (as Levin) and Le chocolat (2000) (as the narrow-minded mayor of a small French town circa 1950s, who tries to shut down a chocolate shop).