Article excerpt

Byline: Brendan Bourne

SIR Anthony Hopkins has spoken of spending a `very happy 1996' with the married Hollywood actress he says has brought sunshine into his life.

The Oscar-winning star of Silence Of The Lambs revealed his affection for blonde Joyce Ingalls at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Beverly Hills.

The event was held on New Year's Eve to celebrate the actor's 58th birthday and his 20 years as a reformed alcoholic. Jennifer, Sir Anthony's wife of 23 years, was at the couple's London home.

Sir Anthony, 58, is reported by an American magazine to have said: `Joyce has brought sunshine into my life. Her smile alone brightens up my day.

`This is the first time in my life I feel alive and I feel passion.

`There are going to be some dramatic changes in my life and I'm looking forward to those changes with the help of Joyce.

`Thanks to Joyce I can live again. I'm looking forward to a very happy 1996 with her.

`I was dying but she has brought a kind of passion I have never known before, feelings I was afraid to have all of my life, even as a child.'

As he revealed the importance of Miss Ingalls in his life, the couple are reported to have drawn their chairs closer together and held hands.

Each is said to have confided in fellow members of the group about their feelings for each other.

The actor, who plays disgraced President Richard Nixon in the new Oliver Stone movie Nixon, met mother-of-two Miss Ingalls at an AA meeting two years ago.

The couple are said to have often met for long talks after meetings at the Cafe de Paris on Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The owner is a friend of Sir Anthony and his signed photograph hangs on the wall.

Sir Anthony, who also starred in Shadowlands and The Remains Of The Day and who has just finished playing Picasso, refused to comment on the report.

Wearing only a pair of green shorts, he slammed his front door on callers at his [pounds sterling]300,000 bunglalow in the exclusive Pacific Palisades suburb of Los Angeles. …