Morgan Freeman: “It felt really nice to receive such a great honour from Prince Albert”

Legendary actor Morgan Freeman has been honoured with a Crystal Nymph at this year’s Monte-Carlo Television Festival, while Bridgerton star Simone Ashley accepted the International Golden Nymph for Most Promising Talent. The pair were among a host of stars to grace the blue carpet for the opening ceremony this year. 

Morgan Freeman is an iconic American actor and narrator, renowned for his deep, resonant voice and commanding screen presence. Best known for his roles in The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Baby and Se7en, he has earned an Academy Award and widespread acclaim over a career spanning more than five decades.

On Friday 14th June, the 87-year-old added another award to his collection, the Crystal Nymph, which was presented by Princesse Charlene, in recognition of his stellar body of work. 

At a press conference during the Monte-Carlo Television Festival on Saturday, Freeman told journalists that “it felt really nice” to be presented the Crystal Nymph award in Monaco.

“Imagine how it feels when you are sent for, to come and receive such a great honour from Prince Albert,” he said. “These are, to me, pats on the back, life achievement type of awards. I got one or two more and they always feel terrific.”

Left to right: Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, Leslie Greif, Mary-Louise Parker, Ben Vereen, Amethyst Davis and Daisy Head at The Gray House press conference. Photo by Monaco Life

Freeman was also present on Friday night to watch the world-premier screening of his latest project, The Gray House, of which he is Executive Producer alongside Kevin Costner.

Many stars of the limited series were in attendance, including multiple award-winning Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, The West Wing), Daisy Head (Harlots), Amethyst Davis (Kindred) and Ben Vereen (Roots), along with Executive Producers Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) and Lori McCreary (Madam Secretary).

Prince Albert II with actress Simone Ashley at the opening ceremony of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival 2024. Photo by Monaco Life

Most promising talent 

Created to recognise brilliant and exceptional rising talent, the International Golden Nymph for Most Promising Talent was presented to British actress Simone Ashley, who is most well-known for portraying Kate Sharma, the female lead of Season Two of the highly successful TV series Bridgerton. Produced by Netflix, the series has become a worldwide sensation. Stay tuned for our interview with Simone Ashely, coming soon. 

Celebrating the Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Other stars to hit the ‘blue carpet’ on Friday night were: the cast of Little House on the Prairie, which is celebrating 50 years; Carrie Preston, who is playing the lead in a new series titled Elsbeth; Kelly Rutherford, who features in the steamy Escort Boys; Rachel Griffith from the series Madam; and many cast members of NCIS.

In his opening speech, Prince Albert II of Monaco said, “It is a pleasure to celebrate such an exceptional and diverse array of television from around the world here in Monte-Carlo. Now, more than 60 years on, our Festival continues its commitment to showcasing programmes that tell captivating stories created to entertain and educate in equal measure.”

Cast of Little House on the Prairie giving media interviews during the TV Festival. Photo by Monaco Life

The Monte-Carlo Television Festival is an annual event in Monaco that features an opening ceremony, red carpet events, award presentations, business seminars and opportunities for networking among television industry professionals.

“We are incredibly proud of the longevity and significance of our Festival within the global entertainment events calendar,” said Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. “Alongside delivering incredible access to some of the world’s hit programmes for so many fans, our extensive Business Content sessions, led by international media experts, will give invaluable insight into the entertainment industry. Our line-up is truly outstanding across all genres – this week in Monaco is going to be the best yet.”

Monaco Life was there! See more of opening night in our Instagram reel below…

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Main photo of Prince Albert II with Morgan Freeman (right) and Laurent Puons (left), by Monaco Life