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LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Christopher Lee, best known for his roles in horror classics, is to receive a lifetime achievement award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), organizers said on Tuesday.
The Academy Fellowship prize, previously won by leading actors and directors including Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Elizabeth Taylor, will be handed out at the 2011 BAFTA Awards ceremony on February 13.
"It's a very unexpected but very great honor to find myself in such distinguished company to receive the fellowship," said the 88-year-old Dracula actor.
Knighted in 2009 for his services to drama and charity, Lee has appeared in nearly 200 films.
He first became a star in the mid-1950s playing Frankenstein's creature, then the title role of Dracula in a pair of high-class Hammer Horrors.
In a career spanning over eight decades, he has also starred in such diverse roles as Lord Summerisle in cult classic "The Wicker Man," Scaramanga in Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun" and Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
Lee appeared in two of the most successful film franchises in movie history -- the Lord of the Rings trilogy as Saruman and the Star Wars prequels as Count Dooku.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato