Dame Judi Dench will be honoured with the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution to British film.

The 83-year-old actress will be recognised for a career spanning six decades at the British International Film Awards next month, and she is proud of the achievement.

She said: ''It has been my absolute privilege to spend almost 60 years working in the British film industry, one of the most vibrant and creative homes for filmmakers in the world.

''To be recognised with this award, which bears the name of the great Richard Harris and counts some of my favorite actors and actresses amongst its past recipients is a source of deep pride and a very special honor.''

The prize - named in honour of late big screen legend Harris - has previously been awarded to the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Julie Walters, John Hurt and Emma Thompson over the last 17 years.

2017's recipient was 'Julia' star Vanessa Redgrave, who was awarded the gong by Harris' son Jared.

On the subject of Dench receiving the honour, he said: ''Dame Judi has stolen every scene she has ever been in, and stolen our hearts along the way.

''Although she hates being called a national treasure and prefers to be thought of as a jobbing actor, she is undeniably both the standard bearer and the gold standard for British Actors.''

The actress' storied career has seen her appear on the big screen in projects as varied as 'A Room With A View', 'Notes On A Scandal' and the 'James Bond' movies.

The British International Film Awards will be held on December 2 in London, with 'The Favourite' leading the way with 13 nominations, while 'American Animals' follows closely behind with 11 nods.