WASHINGTON (AP) -- Without most of the trappings of medieval chivalry, Steven Spielberg became the newest honorary knight of the British Empire on Monday -- one of the highest honors bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II to those born outside the United Kingdom.
Spielberg received the award at the British Embassy with his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, friends, family and dignitaries from the United States and Great Britain looking on.
The honorary title is for those born outside the United Kingdom who make outstanding contributions to society.
With trademark humility, Spielberg asked "Why me?" after Sir Christopher Meyer, the British ambassador, presented the award.
Witnesses included retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and actress Holly Hunter.
"Mr. Spielberg's career has had a global impact," Meyer said, before hanging a cross-shaped medallion around Spielberg's neck. "But the impact in the United Kingdom stands out. His films helped significantly in the doubling of cinema admission in the UK since the early 1980s."
As an honorary knight, Spielberg was ineligible for the elements of full knighthood, best known from literature and cinema. Nor will Spielberg be addressed as "Sir."
But just the same, the famed director of such films as "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "E.T.," "Jurassic Park," "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan," joins an elite list of American honorary knights.
Others include former Presidents Bush and Reagan, Secretary of State Colin Powell, retired Gen. Norman Schwarztkopf, comedian Bob Hope and conductor Andre Previn.
Barrymore, Hopkins honored
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Drew Barrymore and Sir Anthony Hopkins are this year's recipients of woman and man of the year awards from Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
They will receive the traditional brass Pudding Pots next month, university officials announced Monday.
The Hasty Pudding awards are presented to performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment."
Barrymore will lead the traditional parade through the streets of Harvard Square on Feb. 8. Hopkins will appear Feb. 15 at the opening night of the comedy troupe's annual theatrical production, "Fangs for the Memories." Both performers will participate in roasts of their careers.
Barrymore, 25, has starred in "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "The Wedding Singer" and "Charlie's Angels."
The 63-year-old Hopkins won an Oscar for his role as Hannibal Lechter in the 1991 thriller "The Silence of the Lambs." He stars in the sequel, "Hannibal," which opens in theaters nationwide on Feb. 9.
Downey judge urges deal
INDIO, Calif. (AP) -- The judge in actor Robert Downey Jr.'s drug case has encouraged attorneys to try to reach a settlement prior to a hearing scheduled for next month.
Downey is charged with possession of cocaine and a tranquilizer, and faces more than four years in prison if convicted.
His case is being handled under a court program for expediting drug cases.
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