Spielberg to Get an Honorary KnighthoodSteven Spielberg, the renowned American film director, is to receive an honorary knighthood this month in recognition of his contribution to the British film industry.
According to the British Embassy's Web site in Washington, www.britainusa.com, "Spielberg is to be given the insignia of a Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at a ceremony at the British Embassy on Jan. 29."
Spielberg's spokesman, Marvin Levy, told CNN that Spielberg was "very honored and humbled" to hear the news.
"Spielberg has great affection and respect for the British film industry. It's an honorary knighthood because knighthood per se is only for British subjects," said Mr. Levy.
Honorary knighthood is conferred by the Queen Elizabeth, on the advice of the foreign secretary, to those who have made an important contribution to relations between their home country and Britain.
Spielberg has proved his popularity in Britain by receiving British Academy Award nominations for several of his films, including "E.T. － the Extra Terrestrial" (Best Film 1983), "Schindler's List" (Best Film 1994) and "Saving Private Ryan" (Best Film 1999).
With no formal filmmaking education, Spielberg directed his first film, "The Last Gun," in 1959, and has since built up an expansive filmography.
He has received many honors, including Golden Globe awards for "Schindler's List" (Best Director, Best Drama 1994) and "Saving Private Ryan" (Best Director, Best Drama 1999). His Academy Awards include Best Director for the same films.
In addition to directing, Spielberg has worked as a producer, screenwriter and editor.
He has produced 81 television series and films, such as the movies "Back to the Future" (1985), "Cape Fear" (1991), "Deep Impact" (1998) and "Gladiator" (1999).
His screenwriting credits include "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1971) and "Poltergeist" (1982).
Spielberg has also dabbled in acting, making brief appearances in "Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997) and "Gremlins" (1984).
In 1994, Spielberg launched DreamWorks SKG with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former head of Disney, and David Geffen of Geffen Records, increasing his influence in the entertainment industry. The studio develops, produces and distributes film and music.
Since Spielberg is not a British subject, he cannot use the title "Sir," but is entitled to place the letters KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) after his name.
Other recent American recipients of honorary British knighthood include former Presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan, Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell, General Norman Schwartzkopf and the conductor Andre Previn.
by Kim Jae-seon