Redgrave 'done in' by top honour
Published 21/02/2010 | 23:59
Vanessa Redgrave received a standing ovation as she received the Academy fellowship, the highest accolade the British Academy bestows on someone for "outstanding and exceptional" contribution to film.
The award was introduced by Prince William, who was making his first appearance at the Orange British Academy Film Awards, and actress Uma Thurman.
It has been announced that William is taking over from Lord Attenborough as the fifth president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta).
Redgrave, who appeared close to tears, told the audience: "Oh dear, I'm afraid you've done me in. Your Royal Highness, my dear, beautiful Uma, my dear Bafta friends and colleagues, yes you've done me in, you have absolutely done me in."
The acting legend praised the "intelligence, humility and kindness" of William's father, the Prince of Wales, as she gave her acceptance speech.
She said: "I would like to say, your Royal Highness, how much I admire your father for his intelligence, humility and kindness."
She also told the audience how she had once learned "a great lesson" from singer Maria Callas - "to put the truth of your feelings and your thoughts first" and the sound of your voice would follow. She also spoke of advice she had received from her father that she would need to "put yourself into the shoes of someone who is completely different from you".
Some of the industry's biggest names have received the award, including Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and last year's recipient, Terry Gilliam.
Redgrave, 73, whose daughter Natasha Richardson died following a skiing accident last year, has had a long and successful movie career spanning six decades.
The Orange British Academy Film Awards, as the Baftas are formally known, were held in London.