Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 15:23 UK

Spacey to become Oxford professor

Kevin Spacey
Spacey has appeared on both the stage and the big screen

Double Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey said it was an "honour" to be named as a University of Oxford professor.

The American Beauty star will be the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine's College, Oxford.

Spacey, who is also artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre Company, will succeed actor Patrick Stewart when the next academic year starts in October.

His role will be to promote interest in contemporary theatre at the university.

Spacey said: "It really is an honour for me to have been invited to follow such illustrious names and take up this role at Oxford.

'International star'

"The university is steeped in tradition and has a great heritage in the arts and I look forward to working with the students and staff.

"I relish the challenge ahead and am excited for term to begin."

Spacey, 48, was appointed artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London in 2003, where he directed its first production, Cloaca.

His theatre roles have included, The Iceman Cometh, Lost in Yonkers, Long Day's Journey into Night and The Seagull.

His screen credits include Superman Returns, The Usual Suspects and LA Confidential.

Professor Roger Ainsworth, The Master of St Catherine's College, said: "We are thrilled that Kevin has agreed to take on this role.

"He is a truly international star and will bring an enormous wealth of talent and experience in both film and theatre to bear on the role."

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