On Sunday 16 February, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will present Dame Helen Mirren with the Academy Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, London.
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.
Fellows previously honoured 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. Sir 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.”
Dame Helen commented: “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.”
With four BAFTA wins and a further seven BAFTA nominations, Mirren is also the recipient of an Academy Award, three Golden Globes and four Emmy Awards.
Mirren’s 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.
Mirren’s career is a model of how to balance box office success with critical acclaim, having ranged from Calendar Girls, Red and Monsters University to The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Gosford Park and The Last Station. In 2003, she received a damehood 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 mini series Elizabeth I, in which she played the titular role, was awarded a BAFTA, three Golden Globes and nine Emmys, as well as several other prestigious accolades.
The EE British Academy Film Awards will take place on 16 February at The Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. Stephen Fry will be returning to host this year’s ceremony, which will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One in the UK and in all major territories around the world. On the night, www.bafta.org will also feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs), Tumblr and Instagram.
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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org or www.bafta.org/guru.