This photo tweeted by Patrick Stewart got me thinking, what’s more prestigious for an actor, to win the Oscar or to be knighted? Though Stewart has never won the Oscar, or even nominated for one, he has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his work as a stage actor. His acting has never earned him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, or even a Tony, but it has earned him the right to be called Sir Patrick Stewart.
I have to think being knighted by the queen is a lot more prestigious than any of those other awards put together. Every year, no matter what, someone wins the Oscar. It’s one of the reasons even mediocre actors can say they’re Oscar winners. For instance, tax cheat and all around hack Nicolas Cage has won an Oscar for his acting. Knighthood is far from a regular honor, given to someone every year no matter what. If you’re knighted for your contributions in the field of acting, it means you truly deserve it. No way you can just Nicolas Cage it.
Some have done both. Some have won the Oscar and been knighted. Sir Ben Kingsley, after receiving his knighthood, told Queen Elizabeth II that winning an Oscar pales into insignificance to being made a knight.
I have to agree with him.