Redgrave who has appeared in more than 70 films, a few of which include Letters to Juliet and Mission Impossible, addressed those gathered saying: “I am simply amazed by this wonderful tribute.”
Over the course of her 50-year-career, Redgrave, 72, has been nominated for six Oscars, winning one in 1977 for her role as an anti-Nazi activist in “Julia.”
At that time, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) famously objected to the actress’ award and picketed the Oscar ceremony because Redgrave had narrated and helped fund a documentary entitled “The Palestinian,” which supported a Palestinian state.
In her acceptance speech, Redgrave made it a point to thank the Academy for not giving into the intimidations of the JDL, which she described as “a bunch of Zionist hoodlums whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world,” reported the AP.
“I love this woman. My wife understands,” said James Earl Jones, who also was honored at a recent ceremony and is currently starring alongside Redgrave in “Driving Miss Daisy” on the London stage, told the Associated Press. “I stand in profound admiration of her courage, both on and off the stage.”
In addition to Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, other recent celebrities honored by the Academy include makeup artist Dick Smith, who is known for his work in “The Godfather” and “The Exorcist,” and Oprah Winfrey, who received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar that honors contributions to humanitarian causes.