Kevin Spacey will receive a special prize at this April’s Olivier awards.
The actor and director will be garlanded at the annual theatre gong-giving for his outstanding contribution to the Old Vic, which he joined as artistic director in 2004. He steps down later this year.
The 55-year-old star of American Beauty and House of Cards has revived the fortunes of the venue according to Caro Newling, president of the Society of London Theatre which organised the Oliviers.
“His advocacy of London theatre has been a constant boon, and many of us will miss him as a valued colleague,” Newling said.
Spacey’s final performance as the Old Vic’s artistic director will see him reprise his title role in Clarence Darrow, his revival of David W Rintels’ 1974 one-man show about the campaigning lawyer. His performance was widely praised, with RadioTimes.com’s review describing his first one-man play as a “tour-de-force”.
Spacey has appeared in several Old Vic productions during his tenure, including Richard II, David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow and Sam Mendes’ production of Richard III. Matilda director Matthew Warchus is to take over from Spacey in the autumn.
Spacey’s film work includes The Usual Suspects, for which he received a best supporting actor Oscar in 1996, as well as LA Confidential, Seven and Glengarry Glen Ross.
He won a best actor Oscar for American Beauty in 2000 and recently won his first Golden Globe for the critically acclaimed Netflix drama House of Cards. Five years ago he was awarded an honorary CBE for his services to British theatre.
The full list of Olivier nominations will be announced on March 9th, while the ceremony itself will take place on April 12th at the Royal Opera House.
Series three of House of Cards will be released on Netflix tomorrow