LONDON -- The actors Peter O'Toole, Sir Alec Guinness, Sarah Miles, Tom Courtenay and Omar Sharif were among the 800 people who gathered Thursday at St. Paul's Cathedral to honor Sir David Lean, the director of films including "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Dr. HD," "Brief Encounter" and "A Passage to India." Lean died in April at the age of 83.
The Rev. Eric Evans, dean of St. Paul's, echoed the words spoken of Lawrence of Arabia in that same cathedral in Lean's film, calling the director "one of the most extraordinary men of our age and our generation."
As Maurice Jarre conducted members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in "Sunrise" from Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," some of the director's many awards -- including his Oscars for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia" -- were placed on a table beneath the cathedral's dome.
Sir John Mills read from "Great Expectations," which Lean made into a 1946 film. The director, Sir John said, once told him that if he had a favorite film, it was "Great Expectations."
Other readings were given by Miss Miles, Mr. O'Toole, Mr. Courtenay and Mr. Sharif, all of whom who acted in films by Lean, and Georges Correface, who was to play Nostromo in a movie based on Joseph Conrad's 1904 novel of that name, on which Lean was working when he died.
After the ceremony, outside the cathedral, the military Band of the Blues and Royals played the "Col. Bogey March" from "The Bridge on the River Kwai."