Kenneth Branagh, Gary Barlow, Michael Boyd and More Knighted at Queen's Birthday Honors
According to BBC News, actor Kenneth Branagh, X Factor judge and Diamond Jubilee songwriter Gary Barlow, Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Michael Boyd, and more were awarded knighthoods at Queen's Birthday Honours on June 15. Film star Kate Winslet was also recognized as a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), among others.
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Branagh, who was knighted for services to drama and the Northern Ireland community, told the BBC: "I feel very humble about it...In the jubilee year, I'm sure anybody else that's had the good fortune to be recognised would feel as I do. Very, very special."
Branagh recently appeared in My Week with Marilyn alongside fellow knight Sir Laurence Olivier. Celebrated Shakespeare actor, Branagh appeared in Renaissance Theatre Company's Hamlet in 1988, played opposite Emma Thompson in Renaissance's Look Back in Anger, and later as Richard III in a Sheffield production. He starred in the Royal National Theatre's Edmond and directed The Play What I Wrote for Broadway in 2003. In 2008, Branagh appeared in the West End's Ivanov revival. Branagh has also appeared on television in the series Wallander, and in many film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays.
Barlow, who helmed the Diamond Jubilee concert earlier this month, which sent the "Sing" album to the top of the charts, is being honored with a OBE for services to the entertainment industry and his charity work. Barlow is best known as the lead vocalist of Take That and head judge for the TV competition series The X Factor.
Opera director David McVicar was honoured with a knighthood, recognized for services to opera, and COUNTDOWN's Richard Stilgoe, for his contributions to many worthy causes.
Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Michael Boyd receives a knighthood for services to drama, alongside RSC executive director Vikki Heywood, honored as a CBE.
Boyd told the BBC: "I am extremely grateful for this wonderful acknowledgement of my work so far, of our achievements at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and of the earned importance of theatre in British life."
Boyd joined the RSC in 1996 as associate director, then moved up in the ranks when he took over for Adrian Noble in 2003. He began a year-long Complete Works of Shakespeare Festival in 2006, and has be instrumental in the redevelopment of the RSC.
Academy Award-winning actor Kate Winslet becomes a CBE for services to drama. The youngest actor to receive six Oscar nominations, Winslet won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader in 2008. Titanic kick-started her high-profile career in 1997. After that Winslet has starred on screen in Quills, Enigma, Iris, The Life of David Gale, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland (now being adapted for the West End stage), The Holiday, Contagion and many more.
Fellow CBE appointees include THE WOMAN IN BLACK author Susan Hill, food writer and broadcaster Mary Berry and Head of Warner Bros. UK Josh Berger.
Fellow OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) appointees include Diamon Jubilee collaborator Gareth Malone, CALL THE MIDWIFE's Jenny Agutter for her charity work, playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS creator and actor Jean Marsh, Creative Director for Alexander McQueen Sarah Burton, children's author of the Mog stories Judith Kerr, English National Opera's Edward Gardner, singer Omar and THE THICK OF IT writer Armando Iannuci, for services to broadcasting.
Receving the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) are founder of the Artists Theatre School Amanda Redman, actor April Ashley for services to transgender equality and film director Beeban Kidron.
Photo Credit: Rex / Rex USA