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Catherine To Receive Freedom Of Swansea

Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones CBE is set to receive Honorary Freedom of her home city of Swansea today.

She's been a high-profile ambassador for her home city for more than 25 years.

Catherine began her career on the stage in London before becoming a TV star in the popular adaptation of HE Bates' The Darling Buds of May. 

She won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Velma Kelly in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Catherine was also nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Critics' Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

During her career Catherine has been an ambassador for Swansea and has worked with a number of charities. In 2010, she was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to the film industry and charity.

She is married to Michael Douglas. They have a son, Dylan, and a daughter, Carys.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: "This honour will be richly-deserved. Thanks to her long and varied career on stage, TV and in the movies, Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of the best-known faces on the planet.

"Most people know that Swansea is Catherine's home city and we have always been hugely-proud of Catherine's achievements over the years.

"Due to her ambassadorial role for Swansea and her services to film and charity, it is particularly fitting that we are offering Catherine the highest honour we can confer in the 50th year of Swansea's status as a city."

Following the Honorary Freedom ceremony, Catherine Zeta-Jones CBE will also be taking to the stage with an 'Evening with Catherine' featuring anecdotes, stories and tales of her early Mumbles life through to her multi award winning career. 

The show is sponsored by Morgans Hotel and hosted by JR Events & Catering in partnership with Swansea Council. The evening will include a four course meal, live entertainment  and auction and will be supporting Swansea charities.

Catherine has also been named in a list to find Swansea's greatest icon as the city celebrates its 50th birthday.

A list of 50 people, places and events – there’s even a dog involved – has been drawn up for people to vote on ahead of the announcement of the winner in October.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said the search for Swansea’s greatest icon will generate great debate across the city.

He said: “When you come up with a shortlist of names, places and events you start to realise what an amazing place our city really is.

“Swansea has been home to pioneers of business and the creative arts, to incredible achievements in fields like music, sport and photography. The people of our city have participated in or witnessed barely-believable acts of bravery and breath-taking moments of greatness or commitment.

“In their different ways, the list of 50 are already Swansea icons. The truth is that we could probably have come up with many more iconic people, moments and places. 

“But we are hoping the public will vote for their favourite icon from the list and perhaps settle the argument about the greatest Swansea icon for the next 50 years at least.”

He added: “Swansea Icons is part of the Swansea 50 festivities – an opportunity for residents to get involved in celebrating our city status announced by the Prince of Wales on July 3, 1969.

“We’ve seen street parties, Golden Tickets to money-can’t-buy events and, of course, a royal visit from the Prince of Wales on the 50th anniversary of his announcement.

“But there’s lots more to come and it’s easy for people to be part of it.”

To take your pick and place your vote for the city’s greatest icon, simply go to www.swansea50.co.uk

The winning icon will be announced at a gala ceremony taking place on 25 October

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