Patrick Stewart says that besides his acting career, he is most proud of his efforts to stop violence towards women — and that his own father was abusive to his mother.
The "X-Men" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" actor said he tried to help women and children because of his personal experiences.
"I do what I do in my mother's name because I couldn't help her then," Stewart said said at Houston's Comicpalooza last weekend. "Now I can."
The 72-year old Stewart grew impassioned when he remembered overhearing doctors and ambulance drivers telling his mother that she must have done something to provoke his father's attacks.
"Wrong, wrong," Stewart said. "My mother did nothing to provoke him and even if she had, violence is never, ever a choice that a man should make."
But Stewart went beyond just sharing his own story. After his questioner, Heather Skye, became visibly choked up, he comforted her and walked over to give her a long embrace.
"He told me, 'You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now,'" Skye recounted on her blog. "I couldn’t stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked strait [sic] in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will."
This spring, Stewart was a spokesman for the "Ring the Bell," a campaign aimed at convincing one million men to commit to doing their part to end domestic violence. He has also worked for a charity called Refuge, which provides shelter for victims of abuse.
Here's footage of his Comicpalooza comments: