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Angela Lansbury made a Dame in Queen's New Year honors list

WENN, Monday, December 30, 2013, 4:06pm (PST)
  • Beloved British actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith have landed Dame titles in Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year Honors List.

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    The "Good Life" star Keith and "Murder, She Wrote" star Lansbury join fellow thespians Michael Crawford and Lynda Bellingham, singer Katherine Jenkins, veteran TV presenter Nicholas Parsons and sculptor Antony Gormley among the other celebrities on the newly-released list.

    Of her damehood Keith, 73, says, "It's a recognition for not only my 54 years being an actress but also for all the charities with which I'm associated and I think they'll be thrilled."

    And Lansbury tells the BBC, "I'm joining a marvelous 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."

    "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera" choreographer Gillian Lynne will also add Dame to her name in 2014, while Turner Prize winner Gormley and theatre producer Michael Codron have both picked up knighthoods.

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    Michael Crawford and Nicholas Parsons have both picked up Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medals for their charitable work, and composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been named a companion of honor.

    Bellingham has ended a tough year, during which she battled cancer, with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) -- an honor also bestowed on opera star Jenkins, who was left "incredibly humbled" after learning her name was on the list.

    She says, "To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity, comes as a wonderful surprise. I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with."

    Meanwhile, conductor Sir Simon Rattle becomes one of only 24 living people to land an Order of Merit medal.

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    Others named among the New Year Honors include actress and writer Ruth Jones and DJ Pete Tong (both Member of the Order of the British Empire).

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