LONDON — Julie Walters will receive the Richard Harris Award at the Moet British Independent Film Awards on Dec. 8 in London.

The award recognizes outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners have included John Hurt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Michael Gambon.

Walters started out in TV working with comedian Victoria Wood, and broke into film with her BAFTA and Golden Globe winning performance in the 1984 hit “Educating Rita,” where she starred alongside Michael Caine. The role also earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Walters was once again nominated for an Academy Award in 2001 for Stephen Daldry’s “Billy Elliot,” and that same year was cast as Molly Weasley in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” a character she continued to play in the franchise for the next 10 years.

Her other film roles included “Calendar Girls” and “Mamma Mia!”

Walters will next be seen in “The Harry Hill Movie,” and she plays Mrs Bird in the highly anticipated live-action drama “Paddington,” which is due for release in late 2014.