Patrick Stewart

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Sir Patrick Hewes Stewart, OBE (13 July 1940) is an English film, television and stage actor, and university Chancellor. He has had a distinguished career in theatre and television for around half a century. He is most widely known for his television and film roles, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series, and as the voice of Avery Bullock in American Dad!, a character who is designed to look almost identical to Stewart himself.


Contents

Early life

Stewart was born on 13 July 1940[2] in Mirfield near Huddersfield [4] in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, the son of Gladys (née Barrowclough), a weaver and textile worker, and Alfred Stewart, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the British Army who served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and previously worked as a general labourer and as a postman.[5] Stewart said this of his father: "My father was a very potent individual, a very powerful man who got what he wanted. It was said that when he strode on to the parade ground, birds stopped singing. It was many, many years before I realised how my father inserted himself into my work. I've grown a moustache for Macbeth. My father didn't have one, but when I looked in the mirror just before I went on stage I saw my father's face staring straight back at me."[3] Throughout childhood, he endured poverty and disadvantage, an experience which influenced his later political and ideological beliefs.[6] In 2006, Stewart made a short video against domestic violence for Amnesty International, in which he recollected his father's physical attacks on his mother and the effect it had on him as a child, and he has given his name to a scholarship at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Chancellor, to fund post-graduate study into domestic violence.[7][8] His childhood experiences also led him to become the patron of Refuge, a UK charity for abused women.[9] He attended Crowlees C of E Junior and Infants School.[10] He attributes his acting career to an English teacher named Cecil Dormand who then "put a copy of Shakespeare in my hand [and] said, 'Now get up on your feet and perform'".[11] In 1951, aged 11, he entered Mirfield Secondary Modern School,[12] where he continued to study drama. At age 15, Stewart dropped out of school and increased his participation in local theatre. He acquired a job as a newspaper reporter and obituary writer,[13] but after a year, his employer gave him an ultimatum to choose acting or journalism.[14] He quit the job. His brother tells the story that Stewart would attend rehearsals during work time and then invent the stories he reported. Stewart also trained as a boxer.[13]

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