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LONDON – Star of stage and screen Julie Walters has been chosen to pick up the Richard Harris award at this year’s British Independent Film Awards, supported by Moet and Chandon.
The Harris nod, introduced in 2002 in honor of the late Irish actor, is one of the BIFAs’ most prestigious awards and is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.
Previous winners have included John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day–Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Michael Gambon last year.
Walters started out in TV working with comedian Victoria Wood and has gone on to build a career spanning four decades and is widely-regarded as one of the U.K.’s most beloved actors.
She broke in to film with her BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning turn in a supporting role in the 1984 international hit Educating Rita where she starred alongside Michael Caine.
The role also earned her an Academy Award nomination.
Walters was once again nominated for an Academy Award in 2001 for Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot. That same year she was cast as Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, which also starred Richard Harris, the first film in the global franchise hit and a character she would continue to play for the next 10 years.
Other movies on her resume include Calendar Girls in 2003 and Mamma Mia! – one of the highest-grossing U.K. films of all time.
Walters will next be seen in The Harry Hill Movie and she also landed the role of Mrs Bird in the highly anticipated live-action drama Paddington, due for release in late 2014.
The 16th Moet British Independent Film Awards, created by Raindance and hosted by actor and BIFA Patron James Nesbitt will be dished out Sunday Dec. 8t at Old Billingsgate in London.
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