Founded in 1990 through a grant from the Mackintosh foundation, Spacey is the third American to hold the position at St. Catherine's, which is the youngest college operating under the Oxford umbrella. He will succeed Macbeth Tony nominee Patrick Stewart in the Professorship. Additional theatre luminaries who have filled the position include Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, John Napier, Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre, Diana Rigg, Peter Shaffer and Tim Rice.
"It really is an honour for me to have been invited to follow such illustrious names and take up this role at Oxford," Spacey said in a statement. "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. I am delighted that Cameron thought of me; I relish the challenge ahead and am excited for term to begin."
Spacey has served as the artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre Company since 2003. His London stage credits include National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, Richard II, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Speed-the-Plow, and The Iceman Cometh, for which he earned the Evening Standard and Olivier Award for Best Actor. Spacey was awarded a Tony for Lost in Yonkers and has been Tony-nominated for his Broadway appearances in the Old Vic transfers of A Moon for the Misbegotten and The Iceman Cometh. His numerous screen credits include Oscar-winning performances in "American Beauty" and "The Usual Suspects," as well as "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," "Superman Returns," "Pay It Forward" and "HurlyBurly."