LONDON — The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will present Helen Mirren with its highest honor, the Fellowship, at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, London on Feb. 16.
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA on an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.
Fellows previously honored for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee and Martin Scorsese. Alan Parker received the Fellowship at last year’s film awards.
John Willis, chairman of BAFTA, said: “Dame Helen Mirren receives the Fellowship as one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation. Dame Helen’s incredibly successful career is testament to the determination, dedication and skill she brings to each of her roles.”
Mirren commented: “This is the greatest professional honor I can imagine, certainly one I never dreamt of as a schoolgirl in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. To join that list of legendary names is overwhelming.”
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Mirren has won four BAFTA awards and was nommed a further seven times. She was also the recipient of an Oscar, three Golden Globes and four Emmys.
Her career began with roles in films such as Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent” and “O Lucky Man!” However her breakthrough role came in John Mackenzie’s “The Long Good Friday.” Mirren continued to make films throughout the 80s including “Excaliber,” “Cal” and “The Madness of King George,” for which her performance was both BAFTA and Oscar-nominated.
She is the only actor to have taken on the role of both Queen Elizabeth I and II on the screen, and it was her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film “The Queen” that saw her awarded with a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for best actress.
Throughout her career she has balanced box office success with critical acclaim, having ranged from “Calendar Girls,” “Red” and “Monster’s University” to “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover,” “Gosford Park” and “The Last Station.” In 2003, she received a damehood from the British government for services to the performing arts.
Mirren has also enjoyed a successful career in television, particularly as Jane Tennison in the “Prime Suspect” series, a role for which she has been awarded three BAFTAs. The miniseries “Elizabeth I,” in which she played the titular role, was awarded a BAFTA, three Golden Globes and nine Emmys.