I read this in Premiere...

Patrick Stewart was in Hollywood, walking to his car, and decided to stop at an ATM to get money. While he was in the booth, he noticed a man just kind of standing on the street, looking at him from about 100 feet away. Stewart got his money and left the ATM. The guy started walking towards him. Stewart was a little uneasy, since it was dark out, he was alone, and this guy had just seen him get money from an ATM. So he started walking faster... but so did the guy. Eventually he's running at top speed towards his car, but the guy chasing him was faster. Realizing he wasn't going to get to his car in time, he quickly stopped and took a defensive stance...

     "What do you want!?" he demanded.

     "Are you Jean-Luc Picard?" the guy asked.

     "Yes..." replied Stewart, quizzically.

     The guy dropped to his knees, looked up, and shouted, "I LOVE THIS TOWN!"

According to the article, Jean-Luc doesn't hang out in Hollywood too much anymore (although maybe that was a joke).

Here are some Patrick Stewart bits (I used to work for him, indirectly):

  • He once broke up with a girlfriend by FAX.
  • He's a pretty cheap guy, after years as an underpaid actor (before Star Trek).
  • I once accidentally set off his car alarm (he drove a Jaguar at the time).
  • He looked really goofy back when he had hair (I've seen pictures).
  • He's shorter than you'd expect.
  • He once cold-called Holly Hunter for a date after seeing her in The Piano.

The first time I met Patrick Stewart was in the summer of 1986 at Oberlin College during a visit I was making in hopes of transferring there from the behemoth state school I was attending. I really had no idea who he was, but my guide assured me he was a very important, very talented member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. We shook hands in an office of the theatre building. I was told he would be playing Prospero in Oberlin's offering of The Tempest that evening, so I went. It turned out to be a great production, set in the then contemporary 80's with all the castaway courtiers wearing unstructured suits over pastel tees and Antonio and Sebastian snorting coke behind everyone's backs.

I'll never forget how Stewart ended the show. The theatre hummed with awed silence after he uttered the final words of the "Now my charms are all o'erthrown" epilogue:

But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands...
....As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
But of course, quiet is exactly the opposite of what Prospero wants or needs at this point. Having abandoned his magic, he's literally begging the audience for their applause to fill the sails of his ship back to civilization. So after an adeptly awkward pause, Stewart met the crowd's silence by flinging out his hands in a gesture of measured desperation and thus set loose the torrents of ovation. I make it a point of pride to hardly ever join standing o's but I had to leap to my feet with the rest of the audience. That night I learned something about the rarely evoked power of theatre. (Some times—bitter times—I wish I hadn't seen it, and thus would have been able to walk away more easily.)

The second time I met Patrick Stewart must have been shortly after that, my sophomore year, though at the time the interval seemed long. He was giving a series of seminars at BSS — something on text analysis, using obscure excerpts from Lear for his demonstration, and then later that day a lecture on playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. On the lunch break I skipped the luncheon and went to my dorm's homecoming tailgate. I sucked down a few from the keg in the parking lot and went back to the seminars pretty lit. Afterwards, at the wine and cheese reception I horned into a conversation between Stewart and professor Samuel Schoenbaum, at the time one of the premiere Shakespeare authorities in America. It was kind of like you asking in on a pick-up one-on-one between Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson. I blathered something about Hamlet and reminded Stewart that I had met him that summer at Oberlin; they were both very polite and I soon clued in that I wasn't really part of the conversation.

The third time I met Patrick Stewart was at the 2001 Ovation Awards in Los Angeles. He was one of the presenters, and of course had achieved wide fame in the interval as Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise as well as several other notable film roles. Naturally there were other celebrities at the Ovations, but Stewart was the only one I approached, I suppose because I had met him those other two times and had the story to tell. I didn't have the chutzpah to tell him I'd been nominated for something, and just as well, since I didn't win. Again he was polite, but not overly engaging. He had other people to talk to.

So here's the point, as far as I can tell:

I very much admire Stewart's work as an actor—heck, I even think Star Trek: The Next Generation is above average television. He also seems like a very personable fellow. But when all is said and done, there nothing more special about him for me than countless other celebrities I admire. I guess he's just my celebrity to bear: the one assigned at random by Destiny: just like that one acquaintance you see over and over in the city. Even though you know hundreds of people, it's always that one person you run into. It seems that the same principal applies on a slightly different time scale to brushing elbows with the famous. I fully expect that I'll run into Stewart several more times before one or the other of us departs this vale of tears. And each time, I'll walk up to him, shake his hand and tell him of the story of other times I walked up to him and shook his hand. He'll be polite, I'll quickly take me leave, and on it goes. Destiny isn't always profound.

Best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation and its various following movies, Patrick Stewart has gone from surprisingly humble beginnings to become a household name around the world.

Born July 13, 1940, Patrick Stewart was the youngest of three boys. His parents were Alfred and Gladys Stewart, a career soldier and industrial weaver respectively, and he grew up in the industrial town of Mirfield, Yorkshire, England.

From a young age, Stewart's older brothers read to him Shakespeare and other classics, starting a love for literature. Encouraging his love of books and theatre was his school teacher, Cecil Dormand, someone Stewart credits very highly with the direction he chose in his life. At the age of 12, with the support and recommendation of Dormand, Stewart enrolled in an eight-day theatre course and solidified his love of the arts. It was at this course that he met Ruth Wynn Owen and Rafael Shelly, an actress and drama teacher, respectively, who further influenced his goals. Following, Stewart became increasingly active in local theatre until the age of 15.

At 15, Stewart dropped out of school to take a position as a reporter for the local newspaper, The Dewsbury and District Reporter; however, after little more than a year, the editor of the newspaper became frustrated with Stewart's conflict of interests between theatre and his job and issued an ultimatum: Quit theatre, or find a new job. Stewart opted the latter.

After seeking advice from mentors Dormand, Owen, and Shelly, 16-year-old Stewart decided to audition for the Bristol Old Vic theatre school, a very prestigious acting school in England. He was accepted, but didn't have the financial means to attend. Therefore, he found a job as a furniture salesman for a year and the money he earned, along with a County grant, gave him enough income to attend at the age of 17.

Stewart spent two years at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school, steadily losing his Yorkshire accent and acquiring the Received Pronunciation we recognize so well today. In acquiring his method* acting skills, he was once told by a teacher that it would take 15 years for him to fully develop as an actor. Stewart was determined to stick it out.

At the age of 19, Stewart began to bald and was warned by an instructor that this was likely to cause problems in his career; however, after graduating from the BOV, Stewart began touring with various repertory companies both in the United Kingdom and abroad, though never staying with any one for more than three months, and was never out of work. His stage debut was in August of 1959 at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln, playing the role of Morgan in Treasure Island. Through the next seven years, many roles followed, with Stewart becoming more and more well known.

In 1966, though, Stewart's professional ambition of being with the Royal Shakespeare Company was realized and he was accepted as an associate member. During his 27 years as an active member of the RSC, Stewart played such reknowned roles as Shylock, Henry IV, Titus Andronicus, Oberon, Leontes, and Enobarbus. It was during this time that he also appeared in several BBC miniseries, including I, Claudius and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Stewart remains an Honarary Associate Artist of the RSC.

During his time with the RSC, Stewart was a founding director of ACTER (A Centre for Theatre Education and Research). This brought him to the States on several visits to universities and colleges in a collaborative effort to change the way Shakespeare was taught in America.

After playing a few bit roles in movies such as Excalibur and Dune, Stewart was finally offered his ground-breaking TV role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the popular TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. He would play the Captain until the series ended in 1994.

Between episode shootings, Stewart kept busy with several theatre productions including A Christmas Carol, and also several bit roles in movies including Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

During his prolific career as an actor, both on the stage on on the screen, Stewart has amassed several awards and nominations. They are: a nomination for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries (2000) for A Christmas Carol; a nomination for an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award (1998) as Lead Actor in Miniseries or Movie for Moby Dick; a nomination for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor Suspense (1997) for Conspiracy Theory; a nomination for Favorite Male Sci-Fi (1996) in Star Trek: First Contact; a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award as Best Actor (1994) for Star Trek: The Next Generation; a nomination for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play (1999) for The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; a nomination for a Helen Hayes Award as Outstanding Actor in a Resident Play (1998) for Othello (he played a white Othello in an otherwise black 'photo-negative cast); a nomination for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (1995) for The Tempest; a Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance (1992) for A Christmas Carol; a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for Solo Performance (1994) for A Christmas Carol; a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor (1994) for A Christmas Carol; a London Fringe Award for Best Actor (1987) for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor (1979) for Antony and Cleopatra. Stewart won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children (1996) for Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf. Also, in 1996, Patrick Stewart received the prestigious Will Award from The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., which is given annually to someone who makes "a significant contribution to classical theatre in America."

In 1998 Stewart and his wife, Wendy Neuss, opened their own production company called 'Flying Freehold' which is run at Paramount.

In 1966 Stewart married Sheila Falconer, with whom he had two children, Sophie Stewart and Daniel Stewart. They divorced in 1990. Ten years later in 2000, he married Wendy Neuss, a producer from Star Trek: Voyager with whom he'd been with for seven years. They divorced in 2003.

In 2004, Stewart accepted the position of Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, England, where he currently works.

A few interesting personal notes about Patrick Stewart:

  • He is a huge fan of 'Beavis and Butthead' and is the self-proclaimed owner of "the biggest collection of Beavis and Butthead memorabilia on the West Coast". He has also been scolded by several fans for wearing Beavis and Butthead shirts with such sayings as "Education sucks". He has been quoted as saying, "When it comes to sheer quality of entertainment, there's little better than 'Beavis and Butthead'!"
  • He is also a fan of the graphic novel 'Transmetropolitan', and it has been said that Stewart would be interested in producing and/or acting in a movie based on it. He has also written an introduction to Transmetropolitan: Lonely City. He is also friends with the writer, Warren Ellis. (Thank Belgand!)
  • He received Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth in January of 2001.

*Method: A technique of acting in which the actor recalls emotions and reactions from past experience and uses them in identifying with and individualizing the character being portrayed.

Theatre Appearances

2007 Macbeth
2005 A Christmas Carol
2005 A Life in the Theatre
2004 Snow White - An Enchanting New Musical
2003 The Caretaker (Thanks Pint!)
2003 The Master Builder
2002 The Wizard of Oz
2001 A Christmas Carol
2001 Johnson Over Jordan
2001 Shylock: Shakespeare's Alien
2001 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
2000 The Ride Down Mt. Morgan
1998 The Ride Down Mt. Morgan
1997 Othello
1995 The Tempest
1992 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1991 A Christmas Carol
1987 Shylock: Shakespeare's Alien
1987 Uneasy Lies the Head
1986 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
1986 Yonadab
1985 Yonadab
1983 Body and Soul
1982 Henry IV, Part 2
1982 Henry IV, Part 1
1981 The Two Gentlemen of Verona/Titus Andronicus
1981 The Winter's Tale
1981 Titus Andronicus
1979 The White Guard
1978 The Merchant of Venice
1978 Hippolytus
1978 Antony and Cleopatra
1977 Midsummer Night's Dream
1977 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1976 The Iceman Cometh
1975 Hedda Gabler
1972 Julius Caesar
1972 Coriolanus
1971 The Balcony
1971 Enemies
1970 King John
1970 A Midsummer Night's Dream
1969 The Revenger's Tragedy
1969 Bartholomew Fair
1969 The Silver Tassie
1968 King Lear
1968 Much Ado About Nothing
1968 Troilus and Cressida
1967 As You Like It
1967 The Taming of the Shrew
1965 The Happiest Days of Your Life
1965 Little by Little
1965 The Quare Fellow
1965 The Cherry Orchard
1965 The Merchant of Venice
1965 The Life of Galileo
1965 Lock Up Your Daughters
1965 Saint Joan
1965 The Beggar's Opera
1965 A Scent of Flowers
1964 Poor Bitos
1963 Hay Fever
1963 Summertime
1959 Treasure Island
1959 The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet
1959 The Critic
1959 Cyrano de Bergerac
1958 As You Like It

Movie Appearances

2009 The Water Warriors
2007 TMNT
2006 X-Men: The Last Stand
2005 Bambi II
2005 Chicken Little
2004 Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
2003 Frasier (TV series episode)
2003 The Lion in Winter
2003 X2 (X-Men 2)
2002 Star Trek: Nemesis
2002 King of Texas
2001 Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
2000 X-Men
1999 A Christmas Carol
1999 Animal Farm
1998 Star Trek: Insurrection
1998 Moby Dick
1998 The Prince of Egypt
1997 Dad Savage
1997 Masterminds
1997 Conspiracy Theory
1997 Safe House
1996 The Canterville Ghost
1996 Star Trek: First Contact
1995 Jeffrey
1995 Let It Be Me
1994 Gunmen
1994 In Search of Dr. Seuss
1994 The PageMaster
1994 Star Trek: Generations
1994 The Simpsons
1993 Death Train
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights
1991 L.A. Story
1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation
1986 The Devil's Disciple
1985 Wild Geese II
1985 The Doctor and the Devils
1985 The Mozart Inquest
1984 Lady Jane
1984 Code Name: Emerald
1984 Lifeforce
1984 Pope John Paul II
1984 The Holy Experiment
1983 Dune
1983 Races/ A Windy Story (Uindii)
1983 Playing Shakespeare
1982 The Plague Dogs
1982 Smiley's People
1980 Hamlet
1980 Little Lord Fauntleroy
1980 Excalibur
1980 Maybury
1980 The Anatomist
1979 Tolstoy: A Question of Faith
1979 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
1978 When the Actors Come
1977 Miss Julie
1976 Oedipus
1976 The Madness
1976 I, Claudius
1975 Hedda
1975 Eleventh Hour
1975 North and South
1974 Hennessy
1974 The Gathering Storm
1974 Alfred the Great
1974 A Walk with Destiny
1974 Joby
1974 Conrad
1973 Antony and Cleopatra
1973 The Love Girl and the Innocent
1973 The Artist's Story
1973 Fall of Eagles
1970 Civilization: Protest & Communication


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