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The Tragic True Life Story Of Patrick Stewart

In his youth, Patrick Stewart dealt with poverty and violence at home by turning to acting to escape the turmoil. As a young boy he found his love of acting, and discovered Shakespeare through his second brother, Jeffrey, who was 15 years his senior. Encouraged onto the stage by his mother, Stewart threw himself into acting, finding something of a mentor in one of his earliest teachers, Cecil Dormand. While attending a drama camp, Stewart was bunkmates with a young Brian Blessed, and that’s when he decided that acting was to be his future.

Unfortunately, Stewart’s father didn’t approve, and at 15, Stewart decided to drop out of school altogether to pursue his dream. “My education was very basic,” he told the New Yorker. “And for years I felt uncomfortable about that, when I found myself working with Oxbridge men and women, and so forth.” As a teenager, Stewart’s teacher got him a job as a reporter at a local paper. But the job didn’t last because the editor of the paper didn’t approve of his taking time off to pursue amateur theater productions. He quit the job when scolded by his boss, and never looked back.

Ultimately, of course, Stewart’s choice proved to be the right one. Though it took some time, he eventually joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966 at the age of 26, and made his Broadway debut five years later.

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