Helen Mirren to receive BAFTA Fellowship

Posted by · 8:44 am · January 27th, 2014

Turns out that you just can’t keep Helen Mirren out of awards season. A week after the 68-year-old actress stunned everyone — not least herself — by beating Elisabeth Moss at the SAG Awards, it has been announced that she’ll add one more trophy to her mantelpiece before the seasson is out: the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding contribution to cinema.

The Fellowship is the British Academy’s highest honor, and is traditionally the last award presented at the BAFTA ceremony — which takes place this year on February 16. Last year’s film Fellowship was awarded to director Alan Parker; other past recipients range from Martin Scorsese to Maggie Smith to Ingmar Bergman to Anthony Hopkins. Mirren is the first woman to receive the Fellowship since Vanessa Redgrave in 2010. 

“This is the greatest professional honour I can imagine, certainly one I never dreamt of as a schoolgirl in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex,” said Mirren in response to the news. “To join that list of legendary names is overwhelming.”

Unlike the otherwise equivalent Honorary Oscars, BAFTA Fellowships gop more often than not to individuals who have been recognized by the group before. This will be Mirren’s fifth BAFTA, her first three having come back-to-back in the TV category, between 1992 and 1994, for her landmark portrayal of Detective Jane Tennyson in “Prime Suspect.” Her lone film win to date has come for her awards-sweeping 2006 turn in the title role of “The Queen,” which of course won her the Oscar too. She’s been BAFTA-nominated on seven other occasions, most recently for “Hitchcock” last year. 

BAFTA chairman John Willis says: “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.”

In addition to her BAFTAs and Oscar, Mirren’s list of career honors also includes four Primetime Emmys, three Golden Globes and five SAG Awards. She’s also one of only four women to have twice won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival.

The 2014 BAFTA Film Awards take place in London on February 16, with Stephen Fry hosting once more. “Gravity” leads all nominees.

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