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Bryan Forbes Awarded BFI Fellowship

Bryan Forbes - P 2012
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The 85-year-old actor, director, writer and producer declares recognition from the BFI “a great honor.”

LONDON – Multi-hyphenate U.K. movie industry veteran Bryan Forbes has accepted a BFI Fellowship award.

Given in recognition of Forbes’ work as an actor, director, producer and writer, the nod will struggle to find room on his mantlepiece.

Forbes already boasts a brace of British Academy honors, two Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards, a Critics Circle Award, an Edgar Allen Poe Award and wins at both the Berlin and San Sebastian International Film Festivals.

Forbes picked up the nod from BFI chairman Greg Dyke at BFI Southbank Tuesday evening.

Forbes described the Fellowship as a “great honor” for him. “When you're 85 as I am, it's like as Betty Davies once said to me, old age ain’t for sissies!,” Forbes said in a statement.

The BFI Fellowship award is in the gift of the board of governors and aims to recognize “outstanding achievement in film and television,” given to those who have helped shape film and television culture in the U.K.

Peggy Ashcroft, Dirk Bogarde, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, Bernardo Bertolucci, Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Jack Cardiff, Jeanne Moreau and Mike Leigh are among previous recipients.

Forbes’ career in film has spanned over 60 years after he made his screen debut in 1948 and went on to have supporting roles in films including An Inspector Calls (1954) and The Colditz Story (1955).

Forbes was then lured behind the camera, first as a screenwriter winning critical acclaim for both his screenplay for Basil Dearden's The League of Gentlemen and his most controversial screenplay Guy Green's The Angry Silence, starring Richard Attenborough.

Forbes made his directorial debut with Whistle Down The Wind (1961) and went on to make films including King Rat (1965), The Stepford Wives (1974) and International Velvet (1978).