Petronella Barker: Inside the Life of  Anthony Hopkins’s first wife

Petronella Barker

Petronella Barker is a British actress and the ex-wife of Anthony Hopkins. Petronella Barker’s ex-husband is a celebrated Welsh actor, director, and producer. He has a reputation for being one of Britain’s most recognizable and prolific actors. For his contribution to the industry, Hopkins has received numerous accolades including two Academy Awards, four BAFTA Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and an Olivier Award. He received two Academy Awards for Best Actor for his role in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Father (2020). He is also known for playing Odin in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)’s Thor franchise.

Petronella Barker: Bio Summary

Full NamePetronella Barker
famous as*Actress
*ex-wife of Anthony Hopkins
Age 81 years old as of 2023
Date of BirthOctober 12, 1942
Place of Birth Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Zodiac signLibra
Children Abigail Hopkins
spouse Anthony Hopkins (m. 1966–1972)

Who is Anthony Hopkins’ ex-wife?

Petronella Barker was born on October 12, 1942, in Sittingbourne, United Kingdom. She is 81 years old as of 2023. Baker was the daughter of actress Pearl Hackney and comedy actor Eric Barker. She was brought up in the village of Stalisfield, Kent, and went on to school at Ashford School. During her final year of training at the Central School of Speech and Drama, she won the Carlton Hobbs Bursary, thus gaining a six-month contract with the BBC’s Radio Drama Company.

Petronella Barker was an actress

The following year after winning the six-month contract with the BBC’s Radio Drama Company, Petronella joined the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre for three plays: Inadmissible Evidence (understudy), Julius Caesar (crowd and understudy), and Cuckoo in the Nest, in which she played Rawlins.

ALSO, READ; Muriel Anne Hopkins: Who is Anthony Hopkins’ mother?

Petronella Barker spent four seasons with the National Theatre Company, and during those times she appeared in: Hobson’s Choice (as Ada Figgins), Mother Courage and Her Children (Yvette), A Flea in her Ear (Eugenie), The Storm (Glasha), The Dance of Death (Jenny), Othello (Crowd), Juno and the Paycock (Neighbour), The Crucible (Mercy Lewis), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Courtier and Attendant), and Volpone (Androgyno).

She also played Miss Prue in William Congreve’s play Love for Love at the Old Vic Theatre with Laurence Olivier, directed by Peter Wood. According to her IMDB, she is also known for  Othello (1965), The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1971), and Miss Nightingale (1974). 

Who is Abigail Hopkins’ mother?

Petronella Barker and Anthony Hopkins got married on 2 September 1966 in a beautiful wedding ceremony at St Mary’s, Stalisfield in the presence of their friends, families, and loved ones. Petronella was a mere 24 years old when she said “I do” to Anthony, according to PeoplePill. The pair have shared a love of theatre. The couple’s marriage started on a good note. Two years after they walked down the aisle, they welcomed their daughter and named her Abigail Hopkins. Abigail is an actress and singer-songwriter.

Though they promised each other forever, things didn’t go as planned. Anthony Hopkins and his wife called their marriage a quit in the High Court, London, in 1972. Sir Anthony rarely speaks about Abigail or his first marriage to Petronella Barker, although he did concede in 2002 per Mirror: “I guess I am selfish. I have not been a good husband or father.

ALSO, READ; Jennifer Lynton: What happened to Anthony Hopkins’ ex-wife?

According to Mirror, Back then, the Oscar-winning actor was an alcoholic suffering from depression. He left the marital home to set up with production assistant Jenni Lynton (m. 1973–2002) whom she later married, and contact with his toddler daughter was sporadic and fraught.

Where is Anthony Hopkins’ ex-wife Petronella Barker now?

Petronella Barker has been totally out of the limelight after her marriage with Hopkins came to an end. She has not granted any interviews or made any headlines in recent years. It is unclear if she ever married again or entered another relationship.

Hollywoodlife reported Anthony has an estranged relationship with his daughter Abigail who is now known as Abigail Harrison because she preferred to establish herself without using her father’s name. The father/daughter bond quickly soured after Anthony left the family to marry another woman, causing Abigail to spiral into drug abuse.

ALSO, READ; Richard Arthur Hopkins: Who was Anthony Hopkins’ father?

I came very close to killing myself. It was the worst time I can remember,” Abigail revealed in an interview, per The Mirror. “I totally abused my mind and body. The root cause was the fact that my father and I had an intermittent relationship when I was young. I was angry and there was a lot of grieving going on.

In an interview in May 2018, Sir Anthony coldly stated he had no interest in his daughter Abigail’s life, “I don’t have any idea. People break up. Families split and, you know, ‘get on with your life’. People make choices. I don’t care one way or the other,” he told Radio Times. When told that sounded cold, he replied: “Well, it is cold, per The Mirror. Sir Anthony Hopkins has been married to Stella Arroyave since 2003.

Kennedy Gedzah

Kennedy Gedzah is a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-KNUST (2018). He is the Owner and has been the lead content creator at since 2020. His Passion for providing people with credible and well-researched information on the internet led him to build With more than 5 years of experience in blogging and writing, he has amassed sufficient knowledge on various topics, including biographies, fashion and lifestyles, Entertainment, and more. You can contact him via email:

Leave a Reply