Date: 30th January 2001
LATEST: Movie great STEVEN SPIELBERG has been named an honorary knight of the British Empire, joining an elite list of Americans.
Spielberg, the famed director behind film classics like E.T., and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD KIND, received the award at the British Embassy yesterday (29JAN01). Also present were his wife, actress KATE CAPSHAW, Senator HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, wife of departed U.S. President BILL CLINTON, and actress HOLLY HUNTER.
The honorary title is for those born outside the United Kingdom who make outstanding contributions to society. With trademark humility, Spielberg asked, "Why me?" after SIR CHRISTOPHER MEYER, the British ambassador to America, presented the award at the front of a candlelit ballroom. After hanging a cross-shaped medallion around Spielberg's neck, Meyer said, "Mr. Spielberg's career has had a global impact." He added, "But the impact in the United Kingdom stands out. His films helped significantly in the doubling of cinema admission in the UK since the early 1980s."
Spielberg, who will not be addressed as "Sir", joins the likes of former American Presidents BUSH and REAGAN, comedian BOB HOPE and conductor ANDRE PREVIN as an honorary knight. (MCM/WNWCFU/RP)