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Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 00:34 GMT
Paul Scofield: Man for all seasons
Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield: Has previously rejected knighthoods
Actor Paul Scofield, who has been made a Companion of Honour for services to drama, is one of the greatest actors of his generation.

He made his name on the London stage, playing many of the greatest roles in theatre.

He also later moved into cinema, winning an Oscar in 1966 for his portrayal of the Tudor statesman Sir Thomas More in the film of Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons.

He created the role on stage and won a Tony award playing it on Broadway.

Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield starred in Dr Ibsen's Ghosts on Radio 3 in November
But the 78-year-old, who has also won several Baftas, is thought to have consistently rejected attempts to give him a knighthood.

Four years ago he said: "If you want a title, what's wrong with Mr? If you have always been that, then why lose your title?

"I have a title, which is the same one that I have always had.

"But it's not political. I have a CBE, which I accepted very gratefully."

He received his CBE back in 1956, after a triumphal appearance in Peter Brook's Hamlet in Moscow.

He has been in more than a dozen films, including Robert Redford's film Quiz Show in 1995 as Mark Van Doren, for which he was Oscar-nominated as best supporting actor.

His TV work includes the BBC's 4m adaptation of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit in 1994.

He is noted for being highly selective about the roles he takes on - and, as a notoriously private person, for steering clear of interviews.

His presence has been described as "monumental but reassuring" and his voice compared variously to a Rolls Royce being started up and a sound rumbling up from an antique crypt.

He was born in Birmingham in January 1922 to a village schoolmaster and grew up in Hurstpierpoint in Sussex.

He has long been associated with nearby Balcombe, enjoying walking on the downs, reading and baking bread.

He has two children, Martin and Sarah.

See also:

30 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Honorary knighthood for Spike
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