OSCAR-WINNING actress Dame Helen Mirren is to be honoured with Bafta’s highest award for her outstanding services to acting.
The former Westcliff schoolgirl is to be presented with a Bafta Fellowship at this year’s awards ceremony, at the Royal Opera House in London on February 16.
The fellowship is awarded “in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games”.
She will be joining famous names such as Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor and Dame Judi Dench, who have all received a fellowship in previous years.
Dame Helen said: “This is the greatest professional honour I can imagine, certainly one I never dreamed of as a schoolgirl in Westcliff.
“To join that list of legendary names is overwhelming.”
Last year’s winners were director Martin Scorsese and Sir Alan Parker.
British Academy of Film and Television Actors 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.”
During her career, which has included critically-acclaimed roles in the TV series Prime Suspect and biographical film, the Madness of King George, the former St Bernard’s High School for Girls pupil has won four Baftas.
She also played the title role in the mini series, Elizabeth I, which won a Bafta, three Golden Globes and nine Emmys and crowned her career by winning the Oscar for best actress in 2006, for The Queen.