Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has accepted a year-long position as a theatre professor at Oxford University, the institution said in a posting on its website Friday.
Spacey, 48, who won Academy Awards for supporting actor in The Usual Suspects and lead actor in American Beauty, is following in the footsteps of fellow performers such as Patrick Stewart, star of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Others who have occupied the post of Oxford’s Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor Of Contemporary Theatre at St. Catherine’s College include composer Stephen Sondheim, playwright Alan Ayckbourn, actress Diana Rigg and lyricist Sir Tim Rice.
“It really is an honour for me to have been invited to follow such illustrious names and take up this role at Oxford,” Spacey said in a statement. “The university is steeped in tradition and has a great heritage in the arts, and I look forward to working with the students and staff.”
The college’s master, Professor Roger Ainsworth, called Spacey “a truly international star” who “will bring an enormous wealth of talent and experience in both film and theatre to bear on the role.” Spacey has been the artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London since 2003.
He recently was seen in the HBO television movie Recount, about the race for the U.S. presidency in 2000 between Al Gore and George W. Bush. He also recently starred in movie thriller 21, playing an MIT professor with a team of card-counting poker players who make millions in Las Vegas casinos.