Double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey is to host the Laureus World Sports Awards, which would be staged in Abu Dhabi, on Monday, February 7. The celebrated American actor, who is artistic director of the Old Vic in London, one of the city’s oldest theatres, was the highly acclaimed host of last year’s Laureus Awards Ceremony, also held in Abu Dhabi.
Spacey won his first Oscar in 1995 as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects. Four years later he won the Best Actor Oscar for playing a depressed suburban father in American Beauty. Among Spacey’s other memorable starring roles have been Seven, L A Confidential, Superman Returns and alongside Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross.
In June 2008, he was appointed as Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, succeeding Patrick Stewart. His remarkable contribution and commitment to living theatre has seen him honoured by the Players Club with the Edwin Booth Lifetime Achievement Award and, in 2010, he was made a CBE for his services to drama.
Kevin Spacey said: “I am delighted to be back in Abu Dhabi to host the Laureus World Sports Awards for the second year. There is a very natural bond between sportsmen and actors, we all have to go out in front of an audience and produce our best. The pressures and the hours of training or rehearsal are the same, so it was a great pleasure for me to be part of such a unique ceremony which honoured the great sports achievers of the year. I am very much looking forward to leading the applause for this year’s Laureus winners.”
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is returning to Abu Dhabi thanks to the support of Aabar Investments PJS, who will once again be Host Partner for the event. His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar, said: “The Laureus World Sports Awards is a unique event. It was magnificent, a great success for Abu Dhabi when it was held here last March. The whole event was really superb. We will certainly try to do something special for this year’s Awards.”
Last year Kevin Spacey hosted a glittering Awards Ceremony attended by leading sportsmen and women from around the world. In the audience at a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace were Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, British film stars Hugh Grant and Clive Owen and American actors Kyle MacLachlan and Michelle Rodriguez. Among the names of the winners of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards announced in Abu Dhabi were Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Jenson Button, Kim Clijsters, Natalie du Toit and Stephanie Gilmore.