Meryl Streep has received Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Arts Award at a ceremony presided over by the Spanish royal family in the northern city of Oviedo.
She was presented with the award for her long career of acting excellence, spanning nearly five decades on screen.
The 73-year-old actor has won multiple accolades, including three Oscars for her work in Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice and The Iron Lady.
During her acceptance speech, Streep spoke about the empathy that actors and audiences must feel for people on screen or stage who look - or sound - different to themselves.
She said this could be useful in everyday life too: “Empathy may be a radical form of outreach and diplomacy useful in other theatres of endeavour.”
“In our world, in our increasingly hostile, volatile world, I hope we might take to heart another rule every actor is taught, that is: it is all about listening.”
Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar, who nominated Streep, said: "Few actresses in American film history have the versatility of Meryl Streep, an actress with a wide range of registers and a mastery of all genres, including comedy, drama and musicals, among others. She does it all so well and all so naturally and truthfully. Meryl Streep is a truly worthy recipient of this year’s Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts."
The prize was one of eight awarded this year in areas covering the arts, literature, science and international cooperation among others.
Handed out annually by the foundation named for Spanish Crown Princess Leonor, the awards are among the most important in the Spanish-speaking world.
Others honoured at the ceremony were bestselling Japanese author Haruki Murakami, who won the literature prize and US biologists Jeffrey Gordon, Peter Greenberg and Bonnie Bassler, who received the Scientific and Technical Research Prize.
Sports award winner, Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge, said in a speech that running for him was much more than physical exercise.
“We must make our world a running world because a running world is a happy world. And a happy world is a peaceful world,” he said.
Scottish charity group Mary’s Meals won the Concord Award for its work feeding schoolchildren facing extreme poverty across the globe. The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) was honoured with the International Cooperation Distinction Award.
French historian Hélène Carrère d’Encausse and Italian author and philosopher Nuccio Ordine, who both died earlier this year, won the Social Sciences Award and the Communication and Humanities Prize.