It’s been a pretty good year to be Angela Lansbury — or Dame Angela Lansbury, should you now wish to address her as such. The 88-year-old actress is the most prominent film-related name on the annual New Year Honors list — titles and citations presented by Queen Elizabeth II to those deemed worthy in any number of areas. For her services to the arts, Lansbury has been declared a DBE — or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, if you want to get wordy about it.
Lansbury’s response to the news: “I’m joining a marvellous group of women I greatly admire like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. It’s a lovely thing to be given that nod of approval by your own country and I really cherish it.”
Of course, it’s not the first nod of approval Lansbury has received in 2013. In November, she received one of four Honorary Oscars allocated by the Academy this year at the annual Governors’ Awards — a less fustily prestigious honor that was a long time coming for the three-time nominee.
The Oscar and the damehood now join her record-equalling career haul of five Tony Awards on her list of accolades. (Perhaps those 18 fruitless Emmy nominations — also a record — bother her less now.) She’s not done working yet, either: she hasn’t appeared on screen since “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” two years ago, but she’ll return to the West End stage next year in a revival of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit,” playing the same role that won the actress her last Tony in 2009.
One other Oscar winner was recognized on the New Year Honors list: special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, who won a Best Visual Effects Oscar recently for his work on “Inception.” He was previously nominated in the category for “The Dark Knight,” while his other credits include “John Carter,” “X-Men: First Class” and no fewer than 13 Bond films, up to and including “Skyfall.” He was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to film.
Finally, composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was named a Companion of Honor: he’s best known as the current Master of the Queen’s Music, but received an Oscar nomination way back in 1971 for his adapted scoring work on Ken Russell’s “The Boy Friend.” (He lost to John Williams for “Fiddler on the Roof.”)
The full Honors list, should you be interested, is here.