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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 07:00 GMT 08:00 UK
Oxford honours arts figures
Sir Paul Scofield
Sir Paul received his CBE back in 1956
Actor Paul Scofield and Booker prize-winning author JM Coetzee have been awarded honorary degrees for their outstanding contributions to the arts and literature.

They were among seven men and women honoured by Oxford University on Wednesday.

The distinguished South African author and academic JM Coetzee, who has won the Booker Prize twice, received a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa).

Oscar-winning actor Scofield also received the doctorate, along with author Professor Romila Thapar, the Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharial Nehru University in India.

JM Coetzee
Coetzee is based at the University of Cape Town
Schofield, who in 2000 was made a Companion of Honour for services to drama, is considered one of the greatest actors of his generation.

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

He received his CBE back in 1956, after a triumphal appearance in Peter Brook's Hamlet in Moscow, and has also won several Baftas.

He has been in more than a dozen films, including A Man For All Seasons in 1966, for which he won an Oscar.

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

South African JM Coetzee was born in February 1940 and works as Professor of General Literature at the University of Cape Town.

He was the first writer to win the Booker prize twice, carrying off the prize in 1983 with The Life & Times of Michael K and scooping it again in 1999 with Disgrace.

Other recipients of doctorates were Dame Rosalyn Higgins, DBE, The Rt Hon Lord Rothschild, GBE, Dr Arno Penzias, and Professor Shirley Tilghman.

The seven received their degrees at the annual Encaenia ceremony at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, after parading from Brasenose College through the city street.

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