Oscar-winning UK actress and writer to receive Richard Harris Award.

Emma Thompson is to receive The Richard Harris Award at The Moët British Independent Film Awards on Dec 7.

The award, introduced in 2002 in honour of actor Richard Harris, recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor.  Previous winners have included, John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Julie Walters.

Thompson is known for both acting and screenwriting and is the only artist to date to have received an Oscar for both acting and screenwriting.

Speaking about the Richard Harris Award, Thompson said: “This is a very special award, in name of an incredible actor who inspired so many people during his career. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of my peers who have received this award before me.”

Thompson received her first Oscar in 1993 for her leading role in Merchant Ivory adaptation Howard’s End. Her second came in 1996 for writing the screenplay of period drama Sense and Sensibility. She also won Golden Globes and BAFTAS for both films.

The London-born actress first came to prominence in 1987 in two BBC TV series, Tutti Frutti and Fortunes of War, winning the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her work in both.

Her first film role was opposite Jeff Goldblum in the 1989 romantic comedy The Tall Guy, and in the early 1990s she frequently collaborated with then-husband actor and director Kenneth Branagh in such films as Dead Again (1991), Peter’s Friends (1992) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993).

Following her success with Howard’s End, Thompson was twice-Oscar nominated in 1993 as Best Actress for The Remains of the Day and Best Supporting Actress for In the Name of the Father.

After further success with Sense and Sensibility, Thompson went on to perform in the Harry Potter film series, Love Actually, Nanny McPhee and more recently for her portrayal of Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks.

Thompson completed filming this summer in Scotland on The Long Midnight Of Barney Thomson opposite Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone, and on director Ken Kwapis’ A Walk In The Woods, opposite Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

She is also part of Jason Reitman’s Men, Women And Children as well as the upcoming Adam Jones, starring Bradley Cooper.

Click here for the full list of BIFA nominations.