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Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 15:03 GMT
Stars pay tribute to Sir John Mills
Sir John Mills and wife Mary
The event also celebrated Sir John's 60-year marriage
More than 400 stars of screen and stage gathered on Wednesday night to honour the life and career of veteran actor Sir John Mills.

The event organised by the Lord's Taverners charity, of which Sir John was the founding president in 1950, took place at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, south east London.

Guests taking part in the celebration - on the eve of Sir John's 93rd birthday - included actor Roger Moore, film-maker Lord Richard Attenborough, and Sir John's daughters Hayley and Juliet.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore looked back over Sir John's career

They each paid tribute to Sir John with readings, reminiscences and songs about different aspects from his varied and distinguished 72-year career.

Sir John headed a group of actors who enjoyed watching cricket from the old Tavern at Lord's to set up the charity more than 50 years ago.

It has evolved into a national charity and club with more than 4,000 members who raise money to "give young people, particularly those with special needs, a sporting chance".

Thriving

Representatives from the British Film Industry have also helped organise the tribute to Sir John.

Mills was the star of such cinematic classics as Ice Cold In Alex and Ryan's Daughter and some 109 other films.

One of the highlights of his career was winning Best Supporting Actor in the 1971 Academy Awards for his performance in Ryan's Daughter.

Mills has also worked as a producer and director, even directing his daughter Hayley in Sky West and Crooked.

He still thrives on acting, appearing in Kenneth Branagh's acclaimed Hamlet in 1996 and several distinguished television series throughout the 90s.

Any intimation of retirement has been vehemently dismissed. The tribute evening also celebrated Sir John's recent 60th wedding anniversary.

Sir John married his wife Mary, 89, when he was still a jobbing actor.

In January, the couple renewed their wedding vows at a church near their home in Buckinghamshire.

See also:

21 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Sir John launches documentary
16 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Sir John to renew wedding vows
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