Kevin Spacey to teach at Oxford


LONDON -- Kevin Spacey already has two Academy Awards and heads London's Old Vic theater. Now he can add a new title -- Oxford University professor.

The Hollywood star has been named Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theater at Oxford's St. Catherine's College, officials there announced Friday.

Spacey will succeed Shakespearean actor and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" star Patrick Stewart when the new academic year starts in October. Previous holders of the post, endowed by theater impresario Mackintosh, include composer Stephen Sondheim, playwright Alan Ayckbourn and actress Diana Rigg.

In a statement, Spacey said he was delighted to be appointed to the one-year post, which requires him to give lectures, workshops and seminars at the 800-year-old university.

"It really is an honor for me to have been invited to follow such illustrious names and take up this role at Oxford," Spacey said. "The university is steeped in tradition and has a great heritage in the arts, and I look forward to working with the students and staff."

The college's master, Roger Ainsworth, said Spacey was "a truly international star and will bring an enormous wealth of talent and experience in both film and theater to bear on the role."

"He will be a huge draw for the student population of Oxford and to the wider public, too," Ainsworth said.

Spacey, 48, has been artistic director of the Old Vic since 2003 and spends most of his time in London. Despite some early misfires, he has given the Old Vic a string of hits including a recent production of David Mamet's comedy "Speed-the-Plow" starring Spacey and Jeff Goldblum.

He won acting Oscars for his roles in "American Beauty" and "The Usual Suspects."