To Sir, With Love: Two-Time Tony Winner Alan Bates Knighted in Britain

News   To Sir, With Love: Two-Time Tony Winner Alan Bates Knighted in Britain 2002 Tony Award winner Alan Bates was chosen for this year's British honor of knighthood along with film director Ridley Scott. Actor Brian Cox declined the honor of knighthood but accepted a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). Veteran actress Jean Simmons received an OBE (Office of the Order of the British Empire).

Actor Bates won his 2002 Tony for his performance in Fortune's Fool. The actor also garnered a Tony for his turn in Butley. Other Broadway credits include Poor Richard, The Caretaker and Look Back in Anger. Scotsman Cox turned down knighthood as he did not agree with the honors system, according to BBC reports. The actor-director-writer only accepted the CBE in hopes that it benefit film and theatre industry in his homeland. "It was a very difficult decision for me to make and I discussed it with my family and friends," Cox said. "If it's good enough for Paul Scofield, it's good enough for me," he explained — referring to actor Paul Scofield's declination of the knighthood for the 2001 New Year Honors but acceptance of a Companion of Honor. Cox has been seen stateside in Art and Strange Interlude on Broadway.

Simmons, a film actress, is known for her role as Sarah Brown in the film version of "Guys and Dolls" as well as Ophelia in the Laurence Olivier "Hamlet." Other credits include "The Blue Lagoon," "Great Expectations" and "Black Narcissus."