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Actress Helen Mirren to receive European film award

LONDON (Reuters) - British actress Helen Mirren will receive a lifetime achievement award from the European Film Academy when it hands out its annual movie prizes in December, the organization said on Tuesday.

The 67-year-old, best known for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in "The Queen", will attend the awards ceremony held on December 1 in Malta.

"It was discovering the immense diversity of European film making that gave me an enduring love and respect for the art form," Mirren said in response to the announcement of the European Achievement in World Cinema honor.

"This award is therefore a very meaningful honor," she added in a statement. "I would be proud to be counted as an actor in the European tradition."

Mirren began her film career in the late 1960s, with titles including Michael Powell's "Age of Consent", and established her reputation in 1980 with gangster movie "The Long Good Friday" also starring Bob Hoskins.

She became a well-known figure in Britain for her work on the police television series "Prime Suspect" which also won her a slew of prizes.

In "The Madness of King George" (1994) she played Queen Charlotte, but it was 14 years later, in the part of another queen, Elizabeth II, that she established herself at the very top of her profession.

Her portrayal of the current British monarch won her a best actress Academy Award, and she was nominated for the same award again for "The Last Station".

Mirren will portray the queen on stage in a play written by the script writer of "The Queen", Peter Morgan. "The Audience" opens in London in 2013.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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