Emma Thompson Honored with 2,416th Star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame for her Motion Picture Career
Emcee Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speakers: Hugh Laurie and Maggie Gyllenhaal
At 6714 Hollywood Boulevard in front of The Pig 'n Whistle British Pub
Friday, August 6, 2010
Emma Thompson is one of the world's most respected talents for her versatility in acting as well as screenwriting. On August 20, her current global hit, Universal Pictures' Nanny McPhee Returns, comes to the U.S. and Canada.
In 1992, Thompson caused a sensation with her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel in the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster's Howards End. Sweeping the Best Actress category wherever it was considered, the performance netted her a BAFTA, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, a New York Film Critics Circle Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award®. She earned two Oscar® nominations the following year for her work in The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father. In 1995, Thompson's adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility," directed by Ang Lee, won the Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and Best Screenplay awards from the Writers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of Great Britain, amongst numerous others. For her performance in the film, she was honored with BAFTA for Best Actress and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award®.
In 2008, Thompson starred with Dustin Hoffman in director Joel Hopkins' charming romance, Last Chance Harvey, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical. In 2006, Thompson co-starred, to critical acclaim, with Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger Than Fiction, directed by Marc Forster, and produced by Nanny McPhee Returns producer, Lindsay Doran. Gyllenhaal also stars in in Nanny McPhee Returns.
In 2004, Thompson brought to the screen J.K. Rowling's character of Sybil Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, for director Alfonso Cuarón, and in 2007, she reprised the role in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, for director David Yates. Also in 2004, Thompson appeared in her own adaptation of Nanny McPhee, directed by Kirk Jones.
Thompson is currently writing a new film version of My Fair Lady for Sony Pictures and starring, with Alan Rickman, in a flagship production of the poem "The Song of Lunch," by Christopher Reid, for the BBC.
Thompson was born in London to Eric Thompson, a theater director and writer, and Phyllida Law, an actress. She read English at Cambridge and was invited to join the university's long-standing Footlights comedy troupe, which elected her vice president. Hugh Laurie was president. While still a student, she co-directed Cambridge's first all-women revue (Women's Hour), made her television debut on BBC Television's Friday Night, Saturday Morning as well as her radio debut on BBC Radio's Injury Time.
Throughout the 1980s, Thompson frequently appeared on British television, including widely acclaimed recurring roles on the Granada TV series Alfresco, BBC's Election Night Special and The Crystal Cube (the latter written by fellow Cambridge alums Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie), and a hilarious one-off role as upper-class twit Miss Money Sterling on The Young Ones. In 1985, Channel 4 offered Thompson her own TV special, Up for Grabs, and in 1988, she wrote and starred in her own BBC series called Thompson. She worked as a stand-up comic when the opportunity arose, and earned £60 in cash on her 25th birthday in a stand-up double bill with Ben Elton at the Croydon Warehouse. She says it's the best money she's ever earned.
Thompson continued to pursue an active stage career concurrently with her television and radio work, appearing in A Sense of Nonsense and touring England in 1982, the self-penned Short Vehicle at the Edinburgh Festival in 1983, Me and My Girl at Leicester and then London's West End in 1985, and Look Back in Anger at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in 1989.
Thompson's feature film debut came in 1988, starring opposite Jeff Goldblum, in the comedy The Tall Guy. She then played Katherine in Kenneth Branagh's film-directing debut, Henry V, and went on to star opposite Branagh in three of his subsequent directorial efforts—Dead Again (1991), Peter's Friends (1992) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993).
Thompson's other film credits include Junior (1994), Carrington (1995) and The Winter Guest (1997). She has also starred in three projects directed by Mike Nichols—Primary Colors (1998) and the HBO telefilms Wit (2001, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) and Angels in America (2002, for which she received Screen Actors Guild and Emmy Award nominations). Also in 2002, she starred in Imagining Argentina, for director Christopher Hampton, and Love Actually, for director Richard Curtis. The latter film netted Thompson a number of accolades, including Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2004 Evening Standard Film Awards, a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2004 BAFTAs, Best Supporting Actress at the 2004 London Critics Circle Film Awards and Best British Actress at the 2004 Empire Film Awards.
Thompson is involved with several charities including: The Teaching Awards, of which she is President and she is the Chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation which fights against human trafficking and forced labor, a vastly overlooked scourge that affects more than 12 million people around the world.
About The Hollywood Walk of Fame: It began with the installation of a few demonstration stars in August 1958, the first of which was dedicated to actor Preston Foster. Officially dedicated in November 1960, the Walk now features more than 2,400 stars in the categories of television, radio, live theatre, motion pictures and recording. The Walk of Fame ceremonies draw international media attention and throngs of people to catch a glimpse of a favorite celebrity or Hollywood industry leader. It is one of the top tourist draws in Los Angeles and most recognizable images of Hollywood, along with The Hollywood Sign. Follow the Walk of Fame 50th Anniversary plans, news of upcoming star ceremonies and video clips from the ceremonies at www.WalkOfFame.com