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Last Updated: Friday, 5 November, 2004, 10:48 GMT
Bafta honours actor Hanks in US
Jim Sheridan, Helen Mirren and Tom Hanks
Jim Sheridan, Helen Mirren and Tom Hanks received honours
Actor Tom Hanks was among a trio of stars honoured by UK film body Bafta at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Also receiving awards at the event were British actress Helen Mirren and Irish writer and director Jim Sheridan.

Actress Nia Vardalos praised Hanks for the support he gave her in producing her film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

"He's an extraordinary human being that does these great things, characters on screen, that we think we know," commented Vardalos.

Hanks was handed the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film, while Mirren received the Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in International Entertainment.

It's an exciting experience for me to even be in Jim's presence
50 Cent
Sheridan, whose most recent film was the critical hit In America, received the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence.

One of the more unusual guests supporting Sheridan at the gala dinner was rapper 50 Cent.

Sheridan is working on a film with 50 Cent, loosely based on the rapper's life.

Calibre of talent

"It's an exciting experience for me to even be in Jim's presence," said 50 Cent.

"I'm in really good hands and they should expect more than they expect from me."

Mirren said she was surprised to learn she was being given an award, at first thinking: "Are you sure they mean me?".

She added: "But I'm very honoured and I'm going to enjoy myself tonight. And to be honoured alongside of someone of the calibre of Tom Hanks and Jim Sheridan is a wonderful thing for me."

On hand to support Hanks was his wife, producer Rita Wilson.

She said of him: "He approaches everything the same way, which is - whether it's a movie coming out or a movie that he's about to start filming - there's almost just a seamless sort of invisibility to any sort of anxiety or preparation.

"I've always been amazed by that."

Other guests at the Beverley Hilton Hotel included Michael Caine and Jeremy Irons.

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