Belfast Telegraph

Ken Branagh wins International Emmy best actor prize

Belfast-born star Sir Kenneth Branagh has been awarded the best actor prize at the International Emmys.

The actor received the prestigious award for his role in BBC drama series Wallander.

Sir Kenneth portrays Swedish detective Kurt Wallander in the programme, which has won an American following on the Masterpiece channel.

Speaking after his win, the actor said the late Wallander author Henning Mankell would have been "delighted".

He told the Press Association: "Henning Mankell was an internationalist. He would have been delighted at this Emmy recognition.

"Our Wallander was made by a truly international group of artists, who loved this troubled policeman as much as the public did.

"It was a privilege to inhabit that fracturing mind over 12 films. The International Academy have created a fantastic way to say farewell."

Sir Kenneth has also confirmed that he will return for a follow-up to Murder On The Orient Express, and that Twentieth Century Fox is behind the big-screen effort.

He added: "Coming at exactly the time Fox have committed to developing a second Poirot film, it's been a hell of a day at the office!"

The Bafta and Olivier award winning actor starred as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in the box office hit Murder On The Orient Express, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 classic novel, which he also directed.

He will return as both director and Poirot in an upcoming remake of Christie's 1937 novel Death On The Nile.

In Christie's original story, Poirot finds himself embroiled in a deadly love triangle while holidaying in Egypt.

It was adapted for the big screen in 1978 by John Guillermin and starred Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Dame Angela Lansbury and Dame Maggie Smith, with Peter Ustinov as Poirot.

Sir Kenneth was accompanied in this year's release by an all-star cast including the likes of Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Judi Dench and Olivia Colman.

Meanwhile, last month Belfast City Council unanimously voted to bestow the Freedom of the City honour on the actor.

Details of a ceremony for Sir Kenneth have still to be announced, but he said he was "humbled and proud" by the accolade.

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