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Akira Kurosawa included in Shakespeare Hall of Fame

Guardian reports that the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust‘s visitor centre at Stratford-upon-Avon is preparing a Hall of Fame dedicated to performers, directors and artists who were inspired by Shakespeare and championed his work. The list is still looking for its 13th name, which is to be decided by a public vote, but you need not bother to vote since Kurosawa has already made the list, being one of the 12 automatically chosen by the Trust.

The twelve names chosen by the Trust are:

Ben Jonson
David Garrick
Charles Dickens
Ellen Terry
Laurence Olivier
Judi Dench
Kenneth Branagh
Patrick Stewart
Leonardo DiCaprio
Akira Kurosawa
Sam Wanamaker
Paul Robeson

Meanwhile, those battling for the 13th slot are:

Peter Brook
John Gielgud
Boris Pasternak
Sarah Siddons
Peggy Ashcroft
George Bernard Shaw
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Sarah Bernhardt
Virginia Woolf
David Tennant




Jeremy Quintanilla

Leo DiCaprio? Everyone else has written movies, documentaries, books, or stared in plays while actively promoting Shakespeare throughout their career.

Leo, acted in one poorly made movie, back when he was nobody, and only did the gig to have a job. The movie barely followed the play it’s named after, sharing only the very basic premise.
Yet, he gets honor the same as the people that put a large portion of their life into Shakespeare.

Sort, discredit the honor they are trying to present.
Plus, the public get to decide the next person. LAME.


Vili Maunula

I was wondering exactly the same thing. (Except that I really like Baz Luhrmann’s movies, including Romeo+Juliet.)

I guess Leo is on the list because, however little artistic input he had there, it’s still pretty much thanks to him that a whole new generation of teenage girls were introduced to the sexy side of Shakespeare.

It’s still a fairly strange list though. No literary critics, for instance. And a clear emphasis on late 20th century figures. Really a publicity stunt more than anything else.


Bob williams “Wardad”

Obviously the pretentious person named Jeremy has never seen the Di Caprio movie ,it follows the original word for word ! while I cant see why he gets in ahead of sir John Gielguds Lear ha ha ! Jeremy your a pretentious git !


Vili Maunula

Whoa, Bob. 🙂 Having a bad day or something?

You accuse Jeremy of being pretentious (in a three-year-old comment), but I’m afraid your own post doesn’t really paint a very good picture of you and your opinions. Relax a bit, no need to yell, we are all adults here. 🙂



Did they ever decide the 13th person Vili? I suppose I could look it up myself. I’m a Zefferelli fan, but I suppose his R & J, Shrew and Hamlet were too Hollywood to make the cut. I loved that Romeo and Juliette because he used 14 year old (or thereabouts) actors. Since I was about 14 when I saw it in my freshman High School class, it resonated so deeply that it instantly made me love Shakespeare. And believe it or not, though not my favorite interpretation, Mel did a pretty damn good job in that Hamlet, as I recall.

I remember in the late 80s that Zefferelli was going to put on a huge production of Peer Gynt, another favorite of mine. I just googled that and nothing comes up. I wonder what happened. Oh THAT would have been something to see.

BTW, Bob, are you Leo’s relative? One thing we all love about this forum is the curtesy and civility of the members here. Vili set the tone from the beginning and we all gratefully follow his lead. Thank you.


Vili Maunula

A good question! It seems like David Tennant got the 13th place.

Interestingly, the Trust’s website seems to contain no information about this at all, so perhaps they realised the relative (good natured) foolishness of the whole project and buried it. I think the original announcement resulted in something of a backlash also in Shakespeare circles.

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