Alfred Molina

Alfred Molina

Molina in December 2009
Born Alfredo Molina
(1953-05-24) 24 May 1953
Paddington, London, England, United Kingdom
Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
Citizenship British / American
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Jill Gascoine (m. 1986)
Children 1

Alfredo "Alfred" Molina (born 24 May 1953) is an English actor, known for his roles in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Enchanted April (1992), Maverick (1994), Boogie Nights (1997), Chocolat (2000), Spider-Man 2 (2004), The Da Vinci Code (2006), An Education (2009), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Rango (2011) and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016).

He starred as DDA / Detective Ricardo Morales on the NBC police/courtroom drama Law & Order: LA and as Roger opposite Dawn French in the BBC television sitcom Roger & Val Have Just Got In.

Early life

Molina was born in Paddington, London. His mother, Giovanna (née Bonelli), was an Italian house-keeper who cleaned rooms in a hotel and worked as a cook. His father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish immigrant from Madrid who worked as a waiter and chauffeur.[1][2][3] Molina grew up in a working class district in Notting Hill[4] that was inhabited by many other immigrant families.[5] Molina decided to become an actor after seeing Spartacus at the age of nine, and attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[6] He also auditioned and was accepted as a member of National Youth Theatre.


Molina appeared with Leonard Rossiter in the sitcom The Losers (1978).[7] Molina made his film debut with a minor role in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) as Indiana Jones' ill-fated guide, Satipo, during its iconic opening sequence. However, his big break came with Letter to Brezhnev (1985), which he followed with a starring role in Prick Up Your Ears (1987), playing Joe Orton's lover (and eventual murderer) Kenneth Halliwell. He was originally cast as Arnold Rimmer in the TV sitcom Red Dwarf, but he was replaced by Chris Barrie.

In the early 1990s, Molina was a ubiquitous presence on British television, with his highest profile role being the lead in the first two series of El C.I.D. Subsequent film roles included Species, Dudley Do-Right, Chocolat, Not Without My Daughter and Enchanted April. With a mid-western American accent, Molina starred alongside Betty White in the US television series Ladies Man, which ran from 1999–2001.

He has worked twice with Paul Thomas Anderson, first in Boogie Nights (1997) and then Magnolia (1999). Molina gained wide recognition for his portrayal of Diego Rivera alongside Salma Hayek in the biopic Frida (2002), a role for which he gained BAFTA and SAG award nominations. He played himself alongside Steve Coogan in Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) and gained further commercial recognition when he portrayed the villain Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 (2004), which became one of the highest-grossing films of that year. For the latter, Molina was nominated for a Satellite award as Best Supporting Actor. He reprised his role in the video game adaption. In 2006, Molina portrayed Touchstone in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Shakespeare's As You Like It and appeared in Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. Molina provided the voice of the villain Ares in the 2009 animated film Wonder Woman.[8]

Molina's stage work has included two major Royal National Theatre productions, Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana (as Shannon) and David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow (as Fox). In his Broadway debut, Molina performed in Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play 'Art', for which he received a Tony nomination in 1998. In 2004, Molina returned to the stage, starring as Tevye in the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. For his performance he once again received a Tony Award nomination, this time for Best Actor in a Musical. Molina received his third Tony Award nomination for Red in 2010, for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.

In 2007, Molina narrated a 17-part original audiobook for called The Chopin Manuscript. This serialized novel was written by a team of 15 best-selling thriller writers, including Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, Joseph Finder and Lisa Scottoline. The novel won the 2008 Audiobook Of The Year Award form Audio Publishers Association.[9]

On 1 April 2010, he opened at Broadway's John Golden Theatre in the role of artist Mark Rothko in John Logan's drama Red opposite Eddie Redmayne for a limited engagement through 27 June.[10] He had played the role to much critical success at the Donmar Warehouse in London in December 2009.

In 2010 he starred opposite Dawn French in the six-part BBC sitcom Roger & Val Have Just Got In,[11] with a second series in 2012.

He is one of only two actors (the other being Chris Pratt) to have three Lego Minifigures modelled after him, with them being Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2, Satipo from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sheik Amar from Prince of Persia.

In July 2010, it was announced that Molina had joined the cast of Law & Order: LA as Deputy District Attorney Morales.[12] He previously guest-starred in a two-part crossover in 2005 in two other Law & Order franchise shows, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Trial by Jury.

Molina is a patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain. Molina is also a longtime member of the Los Angeles theatre company The New American Theatre, formerly known as Circus Theatricals, where he often teaches Shakespeare and Scene Study along with the company's artistic director Jack Stehlin.

Molina stated in an interview in 2013 that he owes his stage and film career to the Indiana Jones series. "I'm very, very proud of that, I have to admit I didn't think at the time, 'Oh, this is going to go down in movie history.' I'd never been in front of a camera before," Molina said about his short but memorable appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Molina recalls getting the job as a "gift from God" and goes on to say "I've publicly thanked Steven many, many times. That job saved my bacon, in more ways than one." About his now famous line in the film Molina stated that "I've never had a problem with people coming up to me about it. They'll shout that line to me, 'Throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip!' I'm delighted that people still remember it."[13]

Personal life

Molina resides in Los Angeles, California, and announced in 2004 that he had become a U.S. citizen.[14] He is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish.

He married actress Jill Gascoine in 1986 in Tower Hamlets, London.[15] He has a daughter, London based photographer Rachel Molina (born 1980), from a previous relationship, and two stepsons (Adam and Sean), from Gascoine's first marriage. He is also a grandfather to Alfie (born November 2003) and Layla (born May 2006).

In addition to acting, Molina is an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) advocate. Not only does he donate towards AIDS research, but also participates in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk and appeared as himself in a documentary produced by Joseph Kibler[16] (who has been HIV+ and paraplegic since his birth, c.1989) about Kibler's life entitled Walk On, first screened in 2013.[17][18]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square Port Official Uncredited
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark Satipo
1984 Meantime John
1985 Letter to Brezhnev Sergei
1985 Ladyhawke Cezar
1987 Prick Up Your Ears Kenneth Halliwell
1989 Virtuoso John Ogdon
1991 Hancock Tony Hancock
1991 Not Without My Daughter Sayed Bozorg Mahmoody
1991 American Friends Oliver Syme
1992 Enchanted April Mellersh Wilkins
1993 Year in Provence, AA Year in Provence Tony Havers
1993 Trial, TheThe Trial Titorelli
1993 When Pigs Fly Marty
1994 Maverick Angel
1994 White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf Reverend Leland Drury
1994 Cabin Boy Nathaniel's History Teacher Uncredited
1995 Species Dr. Stephen Arden
1995 The Steal Cliff
1995 Perez Family, TheThe Perez Family Juan Raúl Perez
1995 Dead Man Trading Post Missionary
1995 Hideaway Dr. Jonas Nyebern
1995 Nervous Energy Ira Moss
1996 Mojave Moon Sal
1996 Before and After Panos Demeris
1997 Anna Karenina Levin
1997 Boogie Nights Rahad Jackson
1997 Man Who Knew Too Little, TheThe Man Who Knew Too Little Boris 'The Butcher' Blavasky
1998 Impostors, TheThe Impostors Sir Jeremy Burtom
1998 Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Couples
1998 Pete's Meteor Hugh
1999 Dudley Do-Right Snidely K. 'Whip' Whiplash
1999 Magnolia Solomon Solomon
2000 Chocolat Comte De Reynaud
2001 Murder on the Orient Express Hercule Poirot
2001 Texas Rangers King Fisher
2002 Frida Diego Rivera
2003 My Life Without Me Ann's Father
2003 Identity Dr. Malick
2003 Coffee and Cigarettes Himself
2003 Luther Johann Tetzel
2004 Crónicas Victor Hugo Puente
2004 Spider-Man 2 Dr. Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus
2004 Steamboy James Edward Steam English dub
2004 Undertaking Betty Boris Plots
2006 Da Vinci Code, TheThe Da Vinci Code Bishop Manuel Aringarosa
2006 As You Like It Touchstone
2006 Orchids Short film
2007 Hoax, TheThe Hoax Dick Suskind
2007 Silk Baldabiou
2007 Ten Commandments, TheThe Ten Commandments Ramesses, the Pharaoh Voice
2007 The Moon and the Stars Davide Rieti
2007 The Little Traitor Sergeant Dunlop
2007 Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! Professor Jeffries Voice
2008 Nothing Like the Holidays Edy Rodriguez
2009 An Education Jack Mellor
2009 Pink Panther 2, TheThe Pink Panther 2 Chief Inspector Randall Pepperidge
2009 Lodger, TheThe Lodger Chandler Manning
2009 Wonder Woman Ares Voice
2010 Tempest, TheThe Tempest Stefano
2010 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Sheik Amar
2010 Sorcerer's Apprentice, TheThe Sorcerer's Apprentice Maxim Horvath
2011 Abduction Frank Burton
2011 Rango Roadkill Voice
2012 Loving Miss Hatto William Barrington-Coupe
2013 Bless Me, Ultima Antonio Voice
2013 The Truth About Emanuel Dennis
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Reginald Voice
2013 Monsters University Professor Knight Voice
2013 Vivaldi Tartini
2014 Love Is Strange George
2014 Return to Zero Robert Royal
2014 Swelter Doc
2014 Heavenly Sword King Bohan Voice
2014 We'll Never Have Paris Terry
2015 Strange Magic Fairy King Voice
2015 Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet Sergeant Voice
2015 The Secret in Their Eyes Martin Morales
2016 Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie Jerry Schrager
2016 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Ali Massoud Sadiq
2016 Little Men Hernán
2016 Message from the King Preston Post-production
2016 Henchmen Baron Blackout Filming; voice
2016 The Headhunter's Calling Filming
2016 Sister Cities Mort


Year Title Role Notes
1978 The Losers Nigel 6 episodes
1981 Bognor Waiter 2 episodes
1982 Anyone for Denis? Eric Television film
1986 Casualty Harry Horner Episode: "Jump Start"
1989 The Accountant Lionel Ellerman Television film
1990–1992 El C.I.D. Bernard Blake Series
1994 Requiem Apache Hamish – Getaway Driver Television film
1996 Tracey Takes On... Mr. Dragotti Episode: "Royalty"
1998 The Wild Thornberrys Elcio (voice) Episode: "Only Child"
1999–2001 Ladies Man Jimmy Stiles 30 episodes
2001 Murder on the Orient Express Hercule Poirot Television film
2002 Bram and Alice Bram 9 episodes
2003 Justice League King Gustav (voice) Episode: "Maid of Honor"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gabriel Duvall Episode: "Night"
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Gabriel Duvall Episode: "Day"
2007 Monk Peter Magneri Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"
2007 Company, TheThe Company Harvey 'The Sorcerer' Torriti 6 episodes
2009 Yes, Virginia Francis Church (voice) Television film
2010–2012 Roger & Val Have Just Got In Roger Stephenson 12 episodesdate
2010–2012 The Life & Times of Tim Chairman (voice) 2 episodes
2010–2011 Law & Order: LA Detective Ricardo Morales 16 episodes
2011 Harry's Law Eric Sanders 3 episodes
2011 Innocent Alejando "Sandy" Stern Television film
2012 Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Ke-Pa (voice) Episode: "Enter the Dragon"
Gravity Falls Multi Bear (voice) 3 episodes
2012–2015 Robot Chicken Lex Luthor / Various voices 3 episodes
2012 Loving Miss Hatto Barrie Television film
2013 Monday Mornings Dr. Harding Hooten 10 episodes
2013 Drunk History Arthur Conan Doyle Episode: "Detroit"
2014 Rick and Morty The Devil (voice) Episode: "Something Ricked This Way Comes"
2014 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Alhazen Episode: "Hiding in the Light"
2014 The Normal Heart Ben Weeks Television film
2014 Matador Andrés Galan 13 episodes
2014–present Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Rippen (voice)
2015 Show Me a Hero Henry J. Spallone 6 episodes
2015 Axe Cop Vampire Man Baby Kid's Dad / Brilliant Evil Scientist (voices) 2 episodes
2015 Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures Norbert (voice) 1 episode
2015 Long Live the Royals Rupert / Neil (voices) 2 episodes
2016 DreamWorks Dragons Viggo Grimborn (voice) 6 episodes
2016 Angie Tribeca Dr. Edelweiss 8 episodes
2016 Close to the Enemy Harold Lindsay-Jones
2016 I'm Dying Up Here Carl
2017 Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie[19] La Sombra Television film
2017 Feud[20] Robert Aldrich 8 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2004 Spider-Man 2 Doctor Octopus
2014 The Elder Scrolls Online Abnur Tharn

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
1989 The Accountant Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Male Won
1989 The Accountant BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor Nominated
1997 Boogie Nights Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Won
1997 Boogie Nights Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
1999 Magnolia Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Won
1999 Magnolia Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
1999 Ladies Man Best Young Artist Award/Young Star Award Nominated
2000 Chocolat Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2002 Frida Imagen Award for Best Actor – Film Won
2002 Frida BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
2002 Frida Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2002 Frida Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2002 Frida Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2002 Frida Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture Nominated
2004 Spider-Man 2 Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Visual Effects Film Won
2004 Spider-Man 2 London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year Nominated
2004 Spider-Man 2 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2004 Spider-Man 2 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2004 Spider-Man 2 Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain Nominated
2004 Spider-Man 2 MTV Movie Award for Best Villain Nominated
2007 Hoax, TheThe Hoax London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year Nominated
2009 An Education BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
2009 An Education British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 An Education Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 An Education London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year Nominated
2009 An Education Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
2009 An Education Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2009 An Education Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 Pink Panther 2, TheThe Pink Panther 2 ALMA Award for Best Actor in Film Nominated
2014 The Normal Heart Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2015 Love is Strange Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male Nominated


  1. Henderson, Kathy (February 26, 2007). "Broadway Buzz: Q&A: Alfred Molina". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  2. Hattenstone, Simon (July 15, 2004). "I give good foreign". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  3. Current biography yearbook, Volume 65. H. W. Wilson Co. 2004. p. 381.
  4. "Alfred Molina scales new heights in 'Fiddler on the Roof'". CNN. Archived from the original on 4 April 2004. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  5. Díaz, Katharine A. "Accents Make the Man: Actor Alfred Molina makes diversity a trademark". Hispanic (July/August 2004). Archived from the original on 30 October 2006.
  6. "Alfred Molina Biography". Yahoo! Movies. May 24, 1953. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  7. Lewishohn, Mark (2003). Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. London: BBC Worldwide. ISBN 0-563-48755-0.
  8. "Comics Continuum cast list". June 26, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  9. "The Audies 2008 Winners". Audio Publishers Association. 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  10. Baluch, Lalayn (April 17, 2009). "West to appear in Donmar's Life is a Dream". The Stage. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  11. "Molina stars opposite Dawn French". BBC News. September 15, 2009.
  12. Stanhope, Kate (July 24, 2010). "Alfred Molina Signs on to Law & Order: Los Angeles".
  13. Bobbin, Jay (January 7, 2013). "'Raiders of the Lost Ark's' Alfred Molina: How Indiana Jones 'saved my bacon'". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  14. Kirkland, Bruce (June 27, 2004). "Alfred Molina set for big-time recognition". JAM! Movies. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  15. "Marriages England and Wales 1984–2005". Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  16. "Alfred Molina — Interview". ABILITY Magazine (December 2010–January 2011).
  17. Mahbubani, Rhea (April 27, 2013). "Walking with pride, support and strength". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  18. "Walk On". Santa Fe Film Festival. 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  19. Eakin, Marah (June 13, 2016). "Exclusive: Hey Arnold! movie gets a name, hefty slate of returning voice actors". AV Club.
  20. Goldberg, Lesley (May 5, 2016). "Ryan Murphy Anthology 'Feud,' Starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, Set at FX". Hollywood Reporter.

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