Betty White, Jeff Bridges scoop up Britannia Awards
Brits know true royalty when they see it, so naturally they're just as wild about Betty White as we are. Before she received a standing -- and cheering -- ovation at Thursday's Britannia Awards, host Stephen Fry declared her "one of my absolutely all-time favorite people on the surface of this planet."
White added the latest bauble to her ever-growing stash of trophies at the top awards event of the British Academy of Television and Film/Los Angeles, where honorees Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen, "Inception" director Christopher Nolan and the directing and producing brothers Scott -- Ridley and Tony -- also took home the gold from the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
White received the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy from fellow "it" girl Jane Lynch and "Hot in Cleveland" costars Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli. She chalked up her winning streak to passion. "I wouldn't be the lucky old broad that I am -- I mean 'old' in a facetious way -- if I weren't so passionate about show business, about animals," she said, looking sparkly in a red jacket and black trousers.
The parade of presenters also included Dakota Fanning, Rosario Dawson, Marion Cotillard, Jerry Bruckheimer, Cillian Murphy and the suddenly ubiquitous Carey Mulligan. (Click here to launch a gallery of pictures from the event.)
Kevin Spacey and Bridges' "Tron: Legacy" costar Olivia Wilde presented the award. But first Spacey unleashed a swath of uncanny imitations, from Jack Nicholson making his seemingly confused and definitely confusing remark, "Even oysters have enemies," at an American Film Institute event earlier this year, to Bill Clinton and Morgan Freeman.
And he revealed his secret past with this year's Oscar winner.
"I first met Jeff -- and he may or may not remember this -- when I was in high school. Jeff and his brother, Beau, and his father, Lloyd, came to an evening called 'Theater Tonight' at Canoga Park High School, and I was in the drama class and they performed. And what I remember most was that they all three wore very funny noses that night. Jeff is still wearing funny noses as often as he can. It's not nearly as good a disguise as he might think."
Spacey also saluted Bridges' groundbreaking role in the upcoming 3-D adventure flick, "Tron: Legacy," which also features honoree Sheen. "Jeff reprises his role of video game developer Kevin Flynn from the classic 1982 film 'Tron,'" Spacey noted.
"With state-of-the-art technology, 'Tron: Legacy' features Jeff as the first cinematic actor in history to play opposite a younger version of himself. It's technology I suspect many older actors in our industry will soon be looking into, depending on how well it did or didn't go."
The awards will air at 8 p.m. Sunday on the TV Guide Channel, prefaced by a 30-minute red carpet show.
-- Irene Lacher
Top right photo: Dakota Fanning was among the presenters at the BAFTA Los Angeles 2010 Britannia Awards held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Nov. 4, 2010, in Century City. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Left photo: Brothers Jeff Bridges, left, and Beau Bridges at the Brittania Awards, where Jeff was among those honored. Credit: Todd Williamson / Getty Images
Bottom right photo: Jane Lynch, left, and Betty White arrive for the awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on Nov. 4, 2010. Credit: Toby Canham / Getty Images