Helen Mirren to Get Top BAFTA Honor

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LONDON -- Helen Mirren will next month be presented with a fellowship from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the organization's highest honor.

The Oscar and BAFTA winning actress will receive the British Academy fellowship in recognition of her "exceptional contribution" to film, BAFTA said. She will get the honor during this year's British Academy film awards on Feb. 16.

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The presentation will see Mirren join the star-studded roster of BAFTA fellows that already includes the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave and Martin Scorsese.

Mirren said: "This is the greatest professional honor 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."

Mirren, whose movie career began in the 1970s, has a long history with BAFTA, having received four BAFTA awards, including one for her turn in The Queen, a role for which she also won a best actress Oscar.

Said BAFTA chairman John Willis: "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."

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