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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 15:17 GMT
Actors show honours nerves
Sir Alan Bates
Sir Alan Bates is currently starring in the movie Evelyn
Two of Britain's greatest stage and screen actors were hit by nerves in front on the Queen as they received investitures on Wednesday.

Actor Sir Alan Bates almost lost his footing moments after being knighted while actress Jean Simmons needed a steadying hand when she received her OBE.

"I think I wobbled," said Sir Alan, 69, who was walking backwards after being knighted when he stumbled.

Simmons, one of Hollywood's most popular leading ladies of the 40s and 50s, needed a steadying hand after being overwhelmed by the occasion.

I'm in a state of shock. I don't quite know where I am - it's thrilling
Jean Simmons

"A footman kindly helped me," she said. "I'm in a state of shock. I don't quite know where I am - it's thrilling.

"The Queen said, 'It's been a long time', and it has," said Simmons, 74.

"I've started working again but I've been practically a hermit. I haven't been out socially for a number of years."

Simmons won the first of her two Oscar nominations at the age of 19 for her role in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet in 1948.

Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons was one of the leading ladies of the 40s and 50s

The second came for her leading role as housewife Mary Wilson in the film The Happy Ending.

Simmons has starred in more than 50 films, including Great Expectations, The Robe, Guys and Dolls and The Big Country.

Her last big role was in 1995 with Winona Ryder in how to Make an American Quilt.

Sir Alan's big break came with John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger in 1956.

His 45 movie credits include The Entertainer, A Kind of Loving, Far From the Madding Crowd and The Go-Between.

Sir Alan is currently starring in the new Pierce Brosnan film Evelyn, which premièred in London on Monday.

Sir Alan Bates' high-class career
31 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
Bates and Scott lead showbiz honours
31 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
Jean Simmons: Silver screen star
19 Mar 03 |  Entertainment

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