Simon Russell Beale, considered by many to be the greatest stage actor of his generation, can now add a CBE to his collection of prizes, which already includes three Oliviers, two Evening Standard and two Critics Circle awards. Beale was honoured as part of the annual Queen's birthday honours list.

Other theatre luminaries singled out as part of this year's list included fellow actors Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas, Richard Briers and Geraldine James as well as Barbican managing director John Tusa and Hampstead Theatre's outgoing artistic director Jenny Topper.

Beale opens this week in a revival of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers at the National. His many other stage credits include Money, Summerfolk, Hamlet, Candide, Volpone and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the National as well as numerous seasons at the RSC. Last year, he starred in Sam Mendes' farewell double bill of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night at the Donmar Warehouse, winning a hat trick of Best Actor awards in London before transferring to New York.

Helen Mirren joined the ranks of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg to be named a Dame. On screen, Mirren's many credits include her numerous BAFTA-winning series in Prime Suspect as well as Gosford Park, Last Orders, The Killing of Mrs Tingle, The Passion of Ayn Rand and The Madness of King George, Nicholas Hytner's film version of the Alan Bennett's 1991 stage play, in which Mirren also starred, alongside the late Nigel Hawthorne, at the National. Her recent stage credits include Collected Stories, Orpheus Descending and, on Broadway, opposite Ian McKellen in Dance of Death. She returns to the National stage this autumn to appear in Mourning Becomes Electra (See News, 13 Jun 2003).

Kristin Scott Thomas received an OBE. The actress, based in Paris for many years, returned this spring to star in the current West End production of Three Sisters. She's best known for her work in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, The English Patient and Gosford Park.

Veteran actor Richard Briers, who's best remembered for his TV role in The Good Life and who appeared in the West End last year in Bedroom Farce and on tour in The Tempest, received a CBE. Former James Bond Roger Moore, who collapsed last month in New York after guesting in the Right Size's The Play What I Wrote was knighted, in recognition of his services to charity.

- by Terri Paddock