Kevin Spacey was honored with a special award at the Olivier Awards on April 12.
The House of Cards star was presented with the accolade by Dame Judi Dench at the prestigious ceremony – which recognizes the best in theater – in recognition of his tenure as creative director at London’s Old Vic theater, a position he took on in 2004 and which comes to an end later this year.
Judi said: ”To take the Vic on for 10 years … he stuck at it and made it the most enormous success.”
Accepting the award, Kevin said: ”I love that theatre more than I can begin to express to you.”
The 55-year-old actor then closed the ceremony by teaming with Beverley Knight for a rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water backed by a choir and orchestra.
Elsewhere at the ceremony, Sunny Afternoon picked up the most prizes, taking home four; including Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for its stars John Dalgleish and George McGuire, as well as a special Outstanding Achievement in Music prize for frontman Ray Davies’ score.
The rocker said: ”When you write songs you write about people. Without people we have no plays we have no films. People are the source of my material.”
Other winners at the ceremony, which was held at London’s Royal Opera House, included Mark Strong, who picked up Best Actor for his portrayal of tragic hero Eddie Carbone in A View from the Bridge, and Penelope Wilton, who won Best Actress for Taken at Midnight.
Veteran star Angela Lansbury, 89, felt like a ”million dollars” after winning her first Olivier, the Best Supporting Actress prize for her role in Blithe Spirit, her first West End outing in almost 40 years.