Veteran actor John Hurt is to receive the award for outstanding contribution to cinema at the 2012 British Academy Film Awards ceremony next month.
His film, the British Cold War-era spy movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is also nominated for 11 awards.
On hearing the news, Hurt said: 'I know that film means a great deal to me but I had no idea that I meant so much to film.'
The 72-year-old first received a Bafta award in 1976 for his role as gay writer Quentin Crisp in the biographical TV drama The Naked Civil Sevant.
Hurt reprised his role as Crisp in the 2009 film An Englishman In New York co-starring bisexual actress Cynthia Nixon as Penny Arcade. The movie was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding TV movie during the 21st GLAAD Awards ceremony.
Other actors up for an award at this year's Baftas include Christopher Plummer for his portrayal of an elderly gay man dying of cancer in Beginners and Michael Fassbender for his performance in Shame.
The Bafta awards take place on 12 February and will be hosted by Stephen Fry.
Watch a clip of John Hurt in The Naked Civil Servant below: