Idris Elba and David Oyelowo were among the Hollywood stars recognized in the Queen’s annual New Year’s honors list.
Elba, who is up for Golden Globe awards for Luther and Beasts of No Nation, received an OBE for services to drama, capping off a fine year for the former star of The Wire.
“Awards and honors come in all shapes and sizes and all as significant as the other. But this is beyond special as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now. What a year. On me head son!” Elba said in a statement.
Selma star Oyelowo also got an OBE for services to drama. Oyelowo got his start in acting after receiving a grant from Prince Charles’ charity the Prince’s Trust at the age of 18, and he referenced that in a statement, saying: “To be honored by the Queen in this way having been aided by her son’s charity feels like a beautiful full-circle moment.”
A trio of veteran British actresses were also honored for their long service to British drama with damehoods going to Barbara Windsor (star of the Carry On franchise) and Welsh actress Sian Phillips (Goodbye, Mr. Chips). BAFTA-winning actress Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, Harry Potter) received a CBE to go with the OBE she was given in 2006.
Other acting honorees included James Nesbitt, better known to international audiences for his role in The Hobbit trilogy, who picked up an OBE for services to drama as well as for his work with the community in Northern Ireland.
In the world of music, Blur frontman Damon Albarn picked up an OBE for his services to music as did drum and bass pioneer Goldie.
Queen Elizabeth honors British citizens twice a year, once at New Year and also on her birthday. Honorees come from across the spectrum of British society with awards for people in involved in science, business, industry as well as sport, culture, charity and entertainment.