Charles Dance, star of the 1984 TV series The Jewel in the Crown, has been made an OBE. He also became one of the nation's favourite villains, as the lawyer Tulkinghorn in the adaption of Charles Dickens's Bleak House.
There were knighthoods for Professor Barry Cunliffe, the authority on the Iron Age, Brian Ivory, chairman of the National Galleries of Scotland, and the writer and broadcaster Charles Wheeler.
Other journalists honoured include The Independent's Paul Vallely, made CMG, and the newsreader Alastair Stewart, who is created OBE.
Gurinder Chadha, a film director best known for her 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham, has been appointed OBE. Bernard Cornwell, author of 20 novels featuring the 19th-century hero Richard Sharpe, is an OBE. Appointed CBE were Hilary Mantel, the Derbyshire-born novelist whose best known work is The Giant O'Brien, and Deborah Warner, the theatre and opera director.
Rudolph Walker, who plays Patrick Trueman in EastEnders, has been made an MBE, as has Beverly Knight, the soul singer and ambassador for Christian Aid.
The fashion designer Joan Burstein is appointed CBE, while Lucinda (Lulu) Guinness, "the queen of English handbags", and the Welsh designer Julien Macdonald are appointed OBEs.
'Independent' writer becomes CMG
Paul Vallely, associate editor of The Independent, and a prolific writer on the Third World, has been appointed CMG "for services to journalism and to the developing world".
Vallely was a correspondent in Ethiopia during the 1984-5 famine and was named as international reporter of the year.
He worked with Sir Bob Geldof on the best use of the £100m raised by Live Aid and helped organise Live8. Vallely was co-author of the report drawn up by the Commission for Africa established by Tony Blair, which played a major role in last year's G8 summit of the world's richest nations at Gleneagles.