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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 14:29 GMT
Sam Mendes gets directing honour
Sam Mendes and wife Kate Winslet
Sam Mendes and wife Kate Winslet have been married since May 2003
American Beauty director Sam Mendes is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain.

Mendes, who is married to actress Kate Winslet, is a highly acclaimed theatre director and Oscar-winning film-maker.

He said: "I've decided to treat it as a large bank loan that I can pay off in instalments over the next 30 years."

Stanley Kubrick, John Schlesinger and Trevor Nunn are among the lifetime award's previous recipients.

Mendes, 39, won the Oscar for best director for American Beauty in 2000 and has also made thriller Road To Perdition with Tom Hanks.

'Formidable achievement'

In the theatre, he was artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse for 10 years and has twice been named best director at the Olivier Awards.

"The guild likes the idea of being bold enough to recognise formidable achievement in a body of work, no matter the age of the individual," a statement said.

He will receive the honour at the guild's second annual award ceremony at the Curzon Mayfair on 20 March.

Simon McBurney, co-founder of theatre company Complicite, will get an award for outstanding directorial achievement in theatre.

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