Entertainment & Arts

Alison Steadman to receive Richard Harris honour

Alison Steadman Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alison Steadman began her career on stage in the 1950s

Alison Steadman is to receive the Richard Harris Award for her contribution to British film.

The star will receive her award on 4 December at the British Independent Film Awards in London.

Her film roles include Topsy-Turvy, Life is Sweet and Shirley Valentine.

Steadman has also starred in numerous TV shows such as Gavin & Stacey, Fat Friends and TV play Abigail's Party, and had a stage role in The Rise and Fall of the Little Voice.

The Richard Harris Award was created in 2002 to honour the late actor's work.

Previous recipients include Julie Walters, Emma Thompson, Bob Hoskins, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham-Carter and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Image caption Steadman starred as Beverly in Abigail's Party

Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris, said: "Alison Steadman's work in film is the embodiment of the British ideal that this award celebrates. My father, his peers and the filmmakers they collaborated with lit the torch for that ideal in the '60s and '70s.

"And the work that Alison did in collaboration with Mike Leigh, Michael Lindsay Hogg and the BBC carried that torch from the '70s and into the '80s.

"Not only has she created some of the most memorable, truthful and brilliant characters in British cinema, but Alison has also been a vital influence to countless performers who have followed her. We are delighted to be able to celebrate her outstanding contribution to British film."

Steadman began her career on the stage in the 1950s before moving to TV, starring in plays such as the BBC's Play for Today.

She has collaborated with film-makers such as Michael Apted, Mark Herman, Mike Figgis, Terry Gilliam and Lewis Gilbert, but is best known for her work with former husband Mike Leigh.

She won the US National Society of Film Critics Award for best actress for Life Is Sweet and the Olivier for best actress for her role in the original production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

She was appointed an OBE in 2000.

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