Anthony Hopkins says President John Quincy Adams has a thing or two to teach American moviegoers about age and wisdom.

In "Amistad," Hopkins plays a 73-year-old Adams, who argued before the U.S. Supreme Court for the freedom of Africans after they staged a mutiny aboard a Spanish slave ship."The man is a cantankerous old guy who was grumpy and crusty," Hopkins told the Denver Post. "People weren't very fond of him. They didn't try to cozy up to him. But when he got called, he was like a lion."

Asked if American pop culture and Hollywood have denigrated the elderly, Hopkins responded with a resounding "yes."



Birthdays: For Wednesday, Dec. 17

Columnist William Safire 68

Actor Bill Pullman 44

Actor Barry Livingston 44

Pop singer Sarah Dallin 36

Actress Milla Jovovich 22