Patrick Stewart, Who Played Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the Starship Enterprise, Knighted!
Patrick Stewart, veteran science fiction actor, was knighted by the Queen on Thursday, December 31, 2009. The 69-year-old actor, who has been in theater and film for over half a century, was awarded the knighthood as part of Britain's New Year Honours List.
Also knighted was director Peter Jackson who became a Knight Companion in New Zealand. Jackson is best known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy which was shot entirely in New Zealand, won 17 Oscars and increased tourism to New Zealand.
In a statement made to the London Telegraph, Stewart had the following to say: "I am very proud to receive this honour. Theatre is and has always been my great joy."
Sir Stewart also spoke with the BBC television show, This Morning, where he stated that in the last six years, he has been afforded numerous opportunities for acting, and that he's gotten many more than he could ever have imagined.
Patrick Stewart has many credits besides the famous captain of the Starship Enterprise. He was an accomplished stage actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company for 16 years, and in 2009 he received critical acclaim for his role in Waiting for Godot along with Ian McKellen on London's West End.
In film, Stewart also starred in Dune as Gurney Halleck giving a good performance that helped bring the science fiction classic by Frank Herbert to the silver screen.
Patrick Stewart also played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the re-imaged television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation where he boldly went where no one had gone before. During that time and through the fictional adventures of Star Trek, he and the crew of the Starship Enterprise reiterated the ideas that made Star Trek an international phenomenon for over 40 years: peace, tolerance and understanding off all beings.
Perpetuating the ideas that giving respect for differences and the that diversity, tolerance and peace are both necessary and should be respected where found, Picard and crew were another media influence in times that were stressful and at points, very intolerant. Stewart, as Captain Picard, personified those ideals and brought the franchise back to life, re-imaged and relevant for the time.
Stewart was also made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2001.