DAME Judi Dench has led the tributes to late Oscar-winning actor Paul Scofield who died on Thursday (20Mar08). The English star of screen and stage - who won an Academy-Award in 1966 for his portrayal of Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons - died after a long battle with leukaemia. He was 86. Dench - who starred with Scofield in Kenneth Branagh's 1989 Oscar-winning film Henry V - was shocked to hear the news, stating, "He was a great friend and a great man." Revered British actor Simon Callow has described Schofield as "one of the greatest actors in the world". He adds, "He had a charisma, a hypnotism, a kind of spell that he cast on an audience, which was an extraordinary thing to negotiate as a young actor. He was an absolutely towering actor." Famed for his distinctive voice, Scofield rejected the offer of a knighthood on three occasions, but was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of The British Empire) in 1956 and became a Companion of Honour in 2001.