Sir Patrick Stewart is an English television, film and stage actor. Born on July 13, 1940, Stewart’s professional acting career has stretched over six decades. He began acting in his native England by performing in Shakespeare plays and supporting roles in TV shows. While in his mid-40s, Stewart’s big break came when he was cast in the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Stewart played Picard throughout 173 episodes of the series and in four feature films.
He is also known for playing Professor Charles Xavier in five X-Men movies, along with a recurring role on Seth MacFarlane’s American Dad animated series.
Stewart has claimed he is an atheist, someone that doesn’t believe in a creator of the universe.
Even though he doesn’t personally believe in God, Patrick Stewart is forcefully vocal of protecting the religious beliefs of others. For example, in June 2015 Stewart lent his voice to support the owners of an Irish bakery who declined to write “Support Gay Marriage” on a cake. (1)
“In my view, this particular matter was not about discrimination, but rather personal freedoms and what constitutes them, including the freedom to object,” Stewart wrote in a letter sent to the media.
“Both equality and freedom of speech are fundamental rights – and this case underscores how we need to ensure one isn’t compromised in the pursuit of the other.”
Stewart also mediated a disagreement between the Bishop of Wakefield and Richard Dawkins, a well-known scientist and atheist. When Dawkins was to be given an honorary degree from Yorkshire University, the Bishop was angered. Stewart suggested that Bishop of Wakefield also receive an honorary degree for his own investigations into one’s spirituality. (2)
“I’ve been an activist all my life. And always a liberal activist, for the simple reason that it is on the liberal left that you find the true recognition for the need for fairness in society,” Stewart once said in a 2017 interview. “I’m not saying equality, because that you can never achieve, because equality is based on such complex criteria. But fairness is another issue.” (3)
Stewart remains a citizen of the United Kingdom so he cannot vote in American politics. That hasn’t prevented him from sending out a tweet or two at the expense of President Trump:
Had the worst sleep of my life last night. But I was sleeping less than 300 yds from where Donald Trump sleeps. Could there be a connection?
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) February 10, 2017
“It was a fairly innocent tweet. I did not directly insult your President,” the actor later explained when asked by the hosts on The View. (4)
“I’m not a (US) citizen. However, there is, maybe it’s the only good thing as the result of this election, I am now applying for citizenship. Because I want to be an American, too,” Sir Patrick Stewart said.
Stewart has been married three times.
His current marriage is to Sunny Ozell, a singer who is 39 years younger than him. Making their age gap even more unusual is that Ozell’s father is seven years younger than Stewart! “He [Ozell’s father] rings me up and says, ‘Hey son, it’s your father here,’” Stewart joked. (3)
When Patrick married Sunny, the wedding vows were overseen by Ian McKellen, Stewart’s co-star from the X-Men movies. McKellen is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.
Patrick Stewart’s first marriage was to Sheila Falconer, which ended in 1990 after 24 years of marriage. Two children, son Daniel and daughter Sophia, were born.
The actor then married Wendy Neuss in 2000. Neuss had been a producer on The Next Generation. Unfortunately, their marriage only lasted for three years.