Welsh actor Michael Sheen was presented with an honorary degree from Swansea University on October 16th for his “enormous contribution to the cultural life of South Wales and the wider world, and to the good name of Wales across the globe”.

Michael Sheen signing his honorary degree with Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies. Photo: Dan Callister images

The local actor, who grew up in Port Talbot, has gone on to shine in a number of theatre, film, and television roles – most recently starring alongside Tina Fey in the hit US show 30 Rock.  However, closer to home, Sheen has still remained an important cultural ambassador for South Wales. He has been associated with the Dylan Thomas Prize, which rewards young writers in the area. Furthermore, Sheen played a major role in the production of the unique theatrical production of The Passion, staged over three days in his home town.

The awarding ceremony took place in New York, where he and University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies were guests at the US launch of The Richard Burton Diaries. The diaries, currently held at Swansea University, are an exciting documentation into the life of another of Port Talbot’s famous residents, the actor Richard Burton.

Photo: Dan Callister images

On receiving his award, Sheen said, “I’m thrilled to receive this Honorary Degree, particularly as it comes from Swansea, the city that I grew up closest to and where I had some of the happiest times of my youth. I am so proud to still be involved with so many groups and organisations in the West Glamorgan area and so to be honoured by Swansea University in this way is especially meaningful for me.”