Dame Helen Mirren is to be this year's recipient of the Bafta Fellowship, the Academy's highest accolade, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to film.
The 68-year-old - who won a best actress Oscar and Bafta in 2006 for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen - will join an illustrious list of Bafta fellows, including Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Judi Dench, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery and last year's recipient, Sir Alan Parker.
Mirren, who first began acting in the late 1960s, has since carved a successful career on stage and on film, becoming the only actress to portray both Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II. Alongside her award-winning movie career, the British actress is known for her no-nonsense detective, Jane Tennison, in ITV series Prime Suspect which ran for seven seasons between 1991 and 2006. Mirren received a damehood in 2003 for services to the performing arts.
"This is the greatest professional honour I can imagine," announced Mirren upon hearing the news of her Fellowship, "certainly one I never dreamt of as a schoolgirl in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. To join that list of legendary names is overwhelming."
Chairman of Bafta, John Willis, added, "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."
The annual British Academy Film Awards take place on 16 February at The Royal Opera House, hosted by Stephen Fry and broadcast on BBC1.