Former Disney CEO Bob Iger and Star Wars composer John Williams are the newest members of the Hollywood industry to receive an honorary knighthood.
The honor bestows on both entertainment titans the title of KBE, formally known as Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Donated by Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 7 at age 96, Iger and Williams are just two of a larger class of approved British honors for 2022.
Iger, who received his honor as part of his contributions to US-UK relations, recalled the Queen and her “extraordinary life and service” in a statement.
“It is really special and one of the great honors of my life to be awarded the honorary knight of the British Empire by her before she died,” he continued. “Our two nations share a strong bond, which I have seen closely over many years through my deep personal and professional connections to the United Kingdom. I have great affection for the people of the UK and have always appreciated and inspired their extraordinary contributions, especially in the creative arts.”
Williams was honored separately for his contributions to film music. The KBE honor is usually given to non-Brits who have made significant contributions to relations between Britain and their own country.
Iger led the Walt Disney Company for 15 years between 2005 and 2020, where he served as chief executive officer as well as chairman of the board and executive chairman. A legendary, award-winning composer and conductor, Williams often collaborated with Steven Spielberg, working on a number of iconic Hollywood scores outside the Star Wars including Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones.
The honor makes Iger and Williams one of the last people to receive the honor of the late Queen. Past recent recipients include Bono, Ralph Lauren and Rod Stewart.
News Kidda has contacted Williams representatives for comment.