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Olivia Hussey honored in T.O. for Mother Teresa role

first_imgTHOUSAND OAKS – 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 this week of her film “Mother Teresa of Calcutta” and received an award for her portrayal of the famous nun. 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 had dreamed for 25 years of portraying Mother Teresa on film and 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.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsMother 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, N.M. “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.” Tuesday’s gathering for the film at the Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks and a reception at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday were set up to bring people together in appreciation of the film, Hussey’s work and the work of the St. Bernadette Institute and the Conejo Compassion Coalition. Although 200 people saw the film, another 600 were unable to attend because of the auditorium’s size. “When I saw the film for the first time I knew people had to see it for inspiration, so that they too would be moved to become part of the coalition,” said Marilyn Kennedy, an actress, former Episcopalian nun and a leader of the group who was instrumental in setting up the Thousand Oaks event. “Right from the beginning the whole emphasis of the coalition has been on compassion and sensitivity to the needs of others.” “Mother Teresa of Calcutta” was released on DVD this summer by 20th Century Fox. At Tuesday night’s showing, Hussey was welcomed by Thousand Oaks Mayor Dennis Gillette and received a proclamation from a representative of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Other recipients of the Mother Teresa Award include Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Maya Angelou. Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in India, where she worked with the poor of Calcutta. She said her mission was to “care for the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all of those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and died in 1997. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003. [email protected] (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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