Michael Gambon says he is "overwhelmed and delighted"
The Irish Film & Television Academy has announced actor Michael Gambon will receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.
He will be honoured in recognition of his achievement across a body of work over 50 years in film and television.
The award is the highest honour the Academy can bestow, and will see him follow in the footsteps of previous IFTA Honorary Award recipients including Maureen O’Hara, David Kelly, John Boorman, Jim Sheridan, Fionnula Flanagan and Liam Neeson.
Gambon has entertained audiences far and wide - working alongside actors such as Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Julia Roberts, Colin Firth, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes, Ciaran Hinds and Colm Meaney.
The Irish actor is known to younger audiences as Dumbledore in the 'Harry Potter' franchise, that has made over US$10bn (€9.48bn) at the box office worldwide.
Gambon started out in theatre under the guidance of Laurence Olivier. He was then invited to audition for James Bond in 1970 and went on to hone his craft on stage and screen over the following decade.
He received universal critical acclaim in 1986 for his spectacular performance as tormented mystery writer Philip Marlow in Dennis Potter’s BBC drama 'The Singing Detective'.
His most recent roles include TV dramas such as 'Churchill's Secret', 'The Hollow Crown', 'The Nightmare World's of HG Wells', 'Fortitude' and his feature film work including 'Viceroy's House', 'Mad to be Normal', and 'Dad's Army'.
His next project looks set to see him reunite with Michael Caine - to play a part of a gang of elderly London Diamond robbers alongside Jim Broadbent and Ray Winstone, in the yet untitled film about the Hatton Garden jewellery heist of 2015.
On the award, Gambon said: "I am overwhelmed and delighted to receive such an honour from the Irish Academy.
"I was born in Dublin and have been lucky enough to work here many times over the years."
Aine Moriarty, IFTA CEO said: "Michael Gambon is a unique Irish talent who brings passion, skill and charisma to every screen role.
"A consummate professional with extraordinary wit and good humour, he has consistently delivered superb performances across a diverse range of pivotal roles and characters.
"He is a true role model for younger generations of actors to follow".
The 2017 IFTA nominations will be announced on Wednesday March 8th, shortlisting the best achievements on screen both in front and behind the camera.
The IFTA Film & Drama Awards take place on Saturday, April 8th in Dublin.