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Dame Helen Mirren to receive BAFTA Fellowship


Story by Jack Foley

DAME Helen Mirren is to be awarded the British Academy Fellowship at next month’s BAFTA Film Awards.

The annual prize is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow and has previously been won by Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick.

Dame Helen’s many career achievements include winning the best actress Oscar in 2007 for her role in The Queen as well as The Madness of King George, for which she was both BAFTA and Oscar-nominated.

She made her movie breakthrough in 1980 in John Mackenzie’s British gangster flick The Long Good Friday and has since starred in films such as Excalibur and Cal, as well as becoming a TV household name for her performance in Prime Suspect.

More recently, she has even re-invented herself as an action hero in blockbuster series Red (pictured) and its sequel and made her animated debut in last year’s Monsters University for Pixar.

She also regularly appears on the London stage, most recently winning widespread acclaim for her performance of Queen Elizabeth, once again, in Stephen Daldry’s The Audience – for which she also was named best actress at the Olivier awards last year.

She received a damehood for services to the performing arts in 2003.

Commenting on the decision to recognise Dame Helen, BAFTA chairman John Willis 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.”

Dame Helen herself added: “This is the greatest professional honour 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.”

Last year’s prize was awarded to filmmaker Sir Alan Parker.

Related: BAFTA nominees announced

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