Actress to receive the Richard Harris Award at this weekend’s British Independent Film Awards.

Julie Walters is to receive The Richard Harris Award at the 16th Moet British Independent Film Awards this Sunday (Dec 8) at Old Billingsgate in London.

The Richard Harris Award was introduced in 2002 in honour of the late actor and 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, and Michael Gambon in 2012.

Walters started out in television working with comedian Victoria Wood and has built a career spanning four decades across both film in TV.

She broke in to film with 1984 international hitEducating Rita,where she starred alongside Sir Michael Caine and won a BAFTA and Golden Globe. The role also earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Walters was once again nominated for an Oscar in 2001 for Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot and that same year was cast as Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, a character she would return to for a decade throughout the blockbuster franchise.

Over the past 10 years, Walters has starred in British hits including Calendar Girls in 2003 and one of the highest-grossing UK films of all time, Mamma Mia!.

She will next be seen in The Harry Hill Movie out later this month, and plays Mrs Bird in the upcoming live-action drama Paddington, due for release in late 2014.

The awards ceremony will be streamed exclusively live on from 8pm GMT.