LONDON — The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences celebrated the career of Vanessa Redgrave with its first-ever European tribute to a thesp in London on Sunday night.
The event, which took place at the city’s Curzon Soho, was hosted by David Hare and boasted a host of special guests including Meryl Streep, Ralph Fiennes, Joely Richardson, James Earl Jones and Eileen Atkins.
Former AMPAS prexy Sid Ganis introduced the evening, which unspooled the day after the Academy’s Governors Awards ceremony Saturday night in L.A.
“Vanessa Redgrave’s depth and range as an actress have earned her work the admiration of peers, critics and fans,” said AMPAS prexy Tom Sherak to the aud. “We are delighted as an organization to be celebrating her career this evening.”
Hare, who recently penned and helmed Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz starrer “Page Eight,” created three film sequences, each with its own narrative, as a salute to show Redgrave’s perfs.
“Wherever you go in the world, people know and admire Vanessa Redgrave,” said Hare. “There are not many consistently brilliant 50-year careers in the history of cinema, but hers is one of them.”
Fiennes added: “I am honored and delighted to participate in this celebration of Vanessa Redgrave. She is one of the greatest actresses, inspiring to work with on so many levels. She is unique.”
Commenting on the tribute, Redgrave said: “I am simply amazed by this wonderful tribute. I am immensely grateful to the Academy and to all my colleagues for thinking of me in this generous way.”
Redgrave rose to prominence in 1961, playing Rosalind in “As You Like It” with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Since then she has made dozens of stage appearances and has appeared in more than 70 pics such as “Julia,” for which she nabbed a supporting actress Oscar, “Morgan!,” “Isadora,” “Mary, Queen of Scots,” “The Bostonians” and “Howards End.”
She is appearing in the West End stage production of “Driving Miss Daisy.”