Vanessa Redgrave to receive outstanding contribution BAFTA

Veteran screen star Vanessa Redgrave is to be honoured for her long movie career at this month's Baftas with the top award of the Academy Fellowship.

The actress, who lost her daughter Natasha Richardson last year as a result of a skiing accident, will be recognised at the ceremony at London's Royal Opera House in front of major figures from the film industry.

Redgrave, whose career has included Blow-Up, Julia and Mission: Impossible, has often been a controversial figure for her outspoken political views. In the 1970s she upset many Jewish groups for her support of the Palestinian cause.

The fellowship is awarded for "outstanding and exceptional contribution to film".

Previous recipients have included Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Judi Dench and last year Terry Gilliam.

Redgrave, 73, has had a career spanning spanning six decades. The daughter of Sir Michael Redgrave, she made her mark at the Royal Shakespeare Company before finding huge success in film, although she continued to juggle screen commitments with work on the stage.

She earned an Oscar nomination for her 1967 film Morgan: A Suitable Case For Treatment and collected the best supporting actress Oscar in 1977 for Julia, in which she portrayed a Jewish woman murdered by the Nazis. Her acceptance speech riled some right-wing Jews.

Redgrave said of her fellowship today: "I'm truly delighted, it's such an honour to be recognised in this way.

"Looking through the list of past recipients shows what a wonderful accolade this is, and the fact that Alfred Hitchcock was the very first recipient makes it even more special, as my father made his first film with him."

Bafta chairman David Parfitt said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be awarding the fellowship to Vanessa. She is a hugely talented and respected actress who has served as an inspiration to the British film industry."

The Orange British Academy Film Awards takes place on Sunday February 21, and will broadcast by BBC1 at 9pm

Vanessa Redgrave Selected Filmography:

Atonement (2007)

Venus (2006)

The Gathering Storm (TV, 2002)

The Pledge (2001)

If These Walls Could Talk 2 (TV, 2000)

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Wilde (1997)

Mrs Dalloway (1997)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

A Month by the Lake (1995)

Little Odessa (1994)

Howards End (1992)

Orpheus Descending (TV, 1990)

A Man for All Seasons (TV, 1988)

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

Wetherby (1985)

The Bostonians (1984)

Playing for Time (TV, 1980)

Agatha (1979)

Julia (1977)

Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)

Isadora (1968)

The Sea Gull (1968)

Camelot (1967)

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Blow-Up (1966)

Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966)

A Farewell to Arms (TV, 1966)