Actress Olivia Hussey awarded Mother Teresa Prize

Anglo-Argentinian actress Olivia Hussey, best known for her role as Juliet in a 1968 film version of "Romeo and Juliet," has been awarded the 2006 Mother Teresa Prize for her movie portrayal of the saintly founder of the Missionaries of Charity.

People laughed, sighed and gasped, and then actress Olivia Hussey got a standing ovation from the crowd of about 200 people when she attended a showing last week of her film "Mother Teresa of Calcutta" and received an award for her portrayal of the famous nun, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Mother Teresa's niece, Agi Bojaxhiu, came from Italy to help present Hussey with the 2006 Mother Teresa Award from the St Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"I'm very moved," Bojaxhiu said after she had seen the film and witnessed the standing ovation. "Olivia has really expressed the spirit of Mother. I couldn't believe it. I must say, Mother Teresa is here with us in her spirit."

The special showing of the film was arranged by the Conejo Compassion Coalition, an interfaith group formed after the 2004 South Asian tsunami to help needy people abroad and at home.

Hussey, known in part for her roles as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet" and the Virgin Mary in the television miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth," said she felt it was a miracle when she was offered the role.

"People would say, 'What else could you possibly want to play after Juliet and the Virgin Mary?' and I said, 'Mother Teresa,'" Hussey recalled.

"That was 25 years ago. It was like a dream come true, because among all people, Mother Teresa was the one who inspired me the most."

"Mother Teresa of Calcutta" was released on DVD this summer by 20th Century Fox.

Hussey also received a proclamation from a representative of Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Other recipients of the Mother Teresa Award include John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Maya Angelou.

Mother Teresa was a nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in India, where she worked with the poor of Calcutta.

She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and died in 1997. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

Hussey given Mother Teresa Award (LA Daily News, 26/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Olivia Hussey (Wikipedia)
Olivia Hussey filmography (IMDb)

Mother Teresa movie aids Catholic Mission (CathNews, 7/4/05)
Actress "honoured" by role of Mother Teresa (CathNews, 8/8/03)

27 Sep 2006