Anthony Hopkins marks 47 years of sobriety after revealing he was in 'despair'

Anthony Hopkins has said he "probably" had "not long to live" when he was battling addiction, as he marked 47 years of sobriety. The Silence Of The Lambs legend - who has been open his problems with alcohol in the past - posted a moving video on Instagram as he reached the milestone.

Video transcript

ANTHONY HOPKINS: Hello, everyone. I just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and also to say I'm celebrating 47 years today of sobriety. But this is a message not meant to be heavy, but I hope helpful. I am a recovering alcoholic. And to you out there, I know there are people struggling. In this day and age of cancel, and hatred, and non-compromise, children being bullied, I say to this, be kind to yourself. Be kind. Stay out of the circle of toxicity with people if they offend you. Live your life. Be proud of your life.

47 years ago, I was in a desperate situation in despair, and probably not long to live. And I just happened to acknowledge one day that there was something really wrong with me. But I didn't realize that it was a kind of condition, mental, physical, emotional condition called alcoholism or addiction. I'm not an expert on drugs. I'm not an expert on anything. I know nothing, except I have found a life where no one bullies me. I want to say to all you young people who are being bullied, take heed, you'll be proud of yourself. Don't listen to them. Don't let yourself be put down. Depression is part of being alive, sometimes anxiety, life is tough.

But if you need help with any addiction or problem, talk to someone. Talk to someone you respect, whether it's a counselor or to go to a 12-step program. The 12-step program is all over the world, every city, every small city, everywhere, every community. 12-step programs that can help you identify what you are. It doesn't cost a thing, but it will give you a whole new life. I'm not a do-gooder or-- you know, I'm a old sinner like everyone, but all I can say is I have the best life I can even imagine. And I can't even take credit for it.

So wherever you are, get help. Don't be ashamed. Be proud of yourselves. Whatever you do, don't let anyone put you down. Don't let anyone put you down. If you're going to be angry, be angry at that. Don't let anyone put you down. Celebrate yourself as I do myself, although I know nothing. Lots of love to you all. Thank you.