Alison Steadman to receive prestigious Richard Harris Award at the British Independent Film Awards

“Alison Steadman’s work in film is the embodiment of the British ideal that this award celebrates," says actor Richard Harris's son Jared Harris

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Alison Steadman will receive the Richard Harris Award 2016 for her “outstanding contribution” to British film, joining a list of prestigious past winners including Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Julie Walters, Emma Thompson and John Hurt. 

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The British Independent Film Awards (Bifa) told RadioTimes.com that the actress, who has appeared in movies such as The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and Shirley Valentine, will be recognised for her exceptional work within the British film industry during a ceremony on Sunday 4th December.

Beyond her film roles, Steadman’s roles in TV series Fat Friends and The Singing Detective earned her Bafta nominations, She has also won an Oliver award for best actress, and was appointed an OBE in 2000. 

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The Richard Harris Award was introduced in 2002 – the year that veteran actor Richard Harris passed away at the age of 72. He had starred in such iconic roles as King Arthur, Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Albus Dumbledore. 

His son Jared Harris, who plays King George VI in Netflix drama The Crown, commented: “Alison Steadman’s work in film is the embodiment of the British ideal that this award celebrates.”

He continued: “My father, his peers and the filmmakers they collaborated with lit the torch for that ideal in the ‘60s and ‘70s. And the work that Alison did in collaboration with Mike Leigh, Michael Lindsay Hogg and the BBC carried that torch from the ‘70s and into the ‘80s.

“Not only has she created some of the most memorable, truthful and brilliant characters in British cinema, but Alison has also been a vital influence to countless performers who have followed her. We are delighted to be able to celebrate her outstanding contribution to British film.”

The award will be presented at the ceremony hosted by Jennifer Saunders on Sunday 4th December at Old Billingsgate in London, where the other Bifa award winners will be revealed.

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Others nominated for awards include Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake as well as Naomie Harris (Our Kind of Traitor) and Michael Fassbender (Tresspass Against Us)