Believe it or not, the great Sir Patrick Stewart will celebrate his 80th birthday Monday (July 13).
Famous friends and co-stars, including Sir Ian McKellen, David Tennant, and Killing Eve‘s Dame Harriet Walter, have marked this milestone birthday by paying tribute to the much-loved actor in British newspaper The Guardian.
Tennant, who starred opposite Stewart in stage and TV productions of Hamlet, described the veteran actor as “fit as a fiddle and so strapping.”
“How many 80-year-olds are the lead in their own science fiction series?” he added. “There’s nothing of the ‘old man’ about him. He’s very virile – I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying that!”
Meanwhile, McKellen recalled that Stewart has “long forgiven” his advice “not to risk a solid career on the British stage by falling for an uncertain future in Star Trek.”
McKellen and Stewart are best friends, of course, and you can enjoy their bantering relationship in this hilarious clip from The Graham Norton Show.
Elsewhere in the birthday feature, Walter shared an amusing anecdote about bumping into Stewart – dressed as a very different character to the one he was supposed to be playing – on stage during an ’80s production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II.
“I was milling about and ran into Patrick, who was dressed as a woman, which he had just done as a lark,” she recalled. “He said under his breath: ‘Hi, I’m Jane Nightwork!’ He was embodying this old tart who is referred to in an earlier speech. I thought, oh, gosh, grand actors can be a lark too.”
We recently made Sir Patrick Stewart our British Icon of the Week. Many happy returns, Sir Patrick, and hope you have a wonderful day!
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