Britain Honors Ben Kingsley

Monday, December 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ Actor Ben Kingsley and the American scientist James Watson, winner of the Nobel Prize, received knighthoods Monday in a New Year's list honoring people from the Bee Gees to the head of the lost-property office for London's buses and subways.

Besides its usual celebration of art and industry, the honors list touched on the events of Sept. 11, with awards for people working in the British Consulate General in New York when the terrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Center. Dozens of Britons were killed.

The honors, officially bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II but largely selected by the government, mark the achievements and contributions of hundreds of people every year.

Kingsley, 58, is most famous for his Oscar-winning title role in the 1982 movie ``Gandhi.'' As a knight, he will be addressed as Sir Ben.

Watson, co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule and the 1962 Nobel Prize winner, receives an honorary knighthood because he is not a British subject. Therefore, he will not be known as ``Sir.''

A knighthood also goes to Bernard Crick, emeritus professor of politics at the University of London and biographer of George Orwell, for his works on American politics.

Alan Parker, director of the films ``Mississippi Burning'' and ``The Commitments'' and chairman of the Film Council, also receives a knighthood.

Outdoor-clothing manufacturer Margaret Barbour, whose famous waxed-cloth jackets are known internationally as ``Barbours,'' was made a Dame, the female equivalent of a knight, for services to industry.

In architecture, there is a knighthood for Nicholas Grimshaw, who designed London's Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station and the futuristic Eden Project, a huge botanical garden in Cornwall.

The three singing Bee Gees, Barry Gibb, 55, and twins Robin and Maurice Gibb, 52 _ creators of a string of hits since the 1960s _ become Commanders of the Order of British Empire, or CBEs.

CBEs also go to poet Carol Ann Duffy, opera singer Lesley Garrett, writer Penelope Lively and composer and conductor Thea Musgrave.

Lynn Redgrave, the 58-year-old actress who first gained fame with the title role in ``Georgy Girl'' in 1966 and earned a 1998 Academy Award nomination for ``Gods and Monsters,'' is made an Officer of the Order of British Empire, or OBE.

There are OBEs, too, for singer Sade, veteran stage actor Denis Quilley and character actress Miriam Margolyes, whose best-known roles were in ``Little Dorrit'' and ``The Age of Innocence.''

Novelist Rosamunde Pilcher, author of ``The Shell Seekers,'' ``Coming Home'' and the recent ``Winter Solstice,'' also becomes an OBE.

Opera producer Colin Graham is made an OBE for his services to British classical music in the United States and Arnold Schwartzman, a leading figure in the British Academy of Film Television Arts in Los Angeles, receives an OBE for services to the British film industry in the United States.

Maureen Beaumont, manager of Transport for London's lost property office, is made a Member of the Order of British Empire, or MBE. The office handles tens of thousands of lost items every year, from umbrellas and gloves to cell phones _ the fastest-growing category.

An honorary MBE goes to Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell, whose recordings have won fans in Ireland, Britain and the United States.

Sterling Betancourt, 77, a pioneer of steelband music in Trinidad and Tobago, also is made an MBE.

Hundreds of other honors also were announced, including many for teachers and other normally unsung people.

MBEs are awarded to Patricia Margaret Ross MacArthur, a primary school crossing guide in Scotland; James Watson, a parking lot attendant at Leeds Metropolitan University; and postman Brian Wildish, for services to the community in Perth, northern Scotland.

Those who are awarded CBEs, OBEs and MBEs have no title but can put the letters after their names.