Kenneth Branagh to Receive BAFTA’s Highest Honor

The bumbling Gilderoy Lockhart is only one of Sir Kenneth Branagh’s many roles: He’s performed in countless films and directed several more, including his critically acclaimed adaptations of Shakespeare plays. He’s collaborated with dozens of England’s best actors, including Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), and Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew). Because of this illustrious career as an actor, writer, and director, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, otherwise known as BAFTA, is awarding him the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment!

This lengthy title is awarded every year to a member of the film or TV industry whose work has had a lasting effect on the community. Previous winners include Samuel L. Jackson, Dame Judi Dench, and the award’s namesake, Albert R. Broccoli.

Evidently, Branagh’s name belongs among this star-studded list of winners. Over the course of his three-decade career, he’s earned an Emmy, five Academy Award nominations, five Golden Globe nominations, and several other awards in the realms of both acting and directing. His 1996 adaptation of Hamlet, in which he also played the title role, is over four hours long and is widely regarded as one of the best film versions of the play. And of course, he plays a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whom we just love to hate. BAFTA chairman Kieran Breen described Branagh’s achievements best while announcing the award:

Kenneth is without question one of the most influential figures in the British film, television and theatre community, and his talents have brought him much-deserved international acclaim and recognition.

Other honorees at this year’s awards include Dick van Dyke, who will receive the Britannia Award for Excellence in Television, and The Crown actress Claire Foy, who has earned the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year. Selma director Ava DuVernay will be honored with the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing.

Congratulations to Kenneth Branagh on this incredible honor! The honor will be given at a gala event hosted by Jack Whitehall on October 27. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for his next film, Murder on the Orient Express, which premieres on November 10.