UK Honors Steve McQueen, Sam Mendes and More

By Creative Media Times

Oscar-winning directors Steve McQueen and Sam Mendes have both received knighthoods in the New Year Honours. The two are among the 1,097 honored on Friday.

Also in the honours list were Grammy Award-winning singer Olivia Newton-John, playwright Christopher Hampton, and Queen drummer Roger Taylor.

Mendes, whose latest World War I film “1917” reshuffled the current award season contenders after a late December release, broke out in Hollywood in a big way after winning the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director in 1999’s American Beauty.

That film also won the Best Picture at the Oscars. He’s also directed blockbusters such as the crime drama Tom Hanks starrer Road to Perdition, and the last two James Bond installments Spectre and Skyfall. He is recognized for “services to drama”.

Critically acclaimed director Steve McQueen was recognized for services to film. He is the first black filmmaker to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, which he won for his 2013 historical drama 12 Years a Slave. He also directed erotic drama Shame (2011), and last year’s heist film Widows (2018).

The British-born Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John has been honoured with a Damehood for services to charity, cancer research, and entertainment. Newton-John has starred in hugely successful 70s musical Grease, the soundtrack of which is regarded as one of the most successful in history. She’s also a four-time Grammy award winner and achieved five number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sir Elton John was also made a Companion of Honour for services to music and charity.