LOS ANGELES - Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh has been a Bond Girl, a Star Trek Captain, a Tiger mum - and now she can add "doctor" to her impressive list of titles.
The film and television veteran was recognised with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute (AFI) on Saturday (Aug 13) for "contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image".
Media trade outlet The Hollywood Reporter said that Yeoh, 60, was given the honour during the commencement ceremony for the AFI's class of 2022, held at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The AFI is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the art of film-making and its various disciplines, and it includes a conservatory that offers Masters of Fine Arts degrees in directing and screen-writing, among other subjects.
During her speech accepting the award, Yeoh noted that "telling stories is a privilege none of us should take for granted."
"We are time travellers, world builders, change-makers. A scene you shoot on an average Tuesday may seed the dreams of a young child somewhere far away, inspire a future superstar or even begin an important conversation in our society," she added.
She also paid tribute to her early roles in Hong Kong action films such as Yes, Madam (1985) Supercop (1992), and how she began her stunt training by learning how to fall.
"I was convinced I was being pranked. I was like, 'When do I get to do the real stuff: the jumping kick, the roundhouse kick? And they said to me, 'How are you going to go up if you don't know how to come down?' That lesson sticks with me to this day. I had to learn how to fall," says the star who went on to headline international hits such as martial arts movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and and romance drama Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005).
Yeoh has been attracting awards show buzz for her most recent film, Everything Everywhere All At Once. The science-fiction film has netted more than US$100 million (S$137 million) at the global box office since it released in March.
Next, she is expected to appear in Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-anticipated sequel to James Cameron's Avatar (2009) which is slated for release this December.