Kenneth Branagh, Zaha Hadid receiving titles from Queen Elizabeth

That’s “Sir” Kenneth Branagh and “Dame” Zaha Hadid, to you.

The birthday honors for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II were announced recently, and among those receiving titles will be actor-director Branagh, a Shakespearean veteran of stage and screen, and architect Hadid, who has won the Pritzker Prize and whose buildings include the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre.

Branagh will receive a knighthood for his contributions to drama as well as to the community of his native Northern Ireland. The 51-year-old actor-director has appeared in numerous Shakespeare productions on stage and was a co-founder of the Renaissance Theatre Company. His movie career includes directing five film adaptations of the works of Shakespeare, as well as an Oscar-nominated performance in last year’s"My Week with Marilyn.” Most recently, he directed the movie"Thor.”

Hadid will receive an Order of the British Empire for her accomplishments in the field of architecture. Hadid, 61, was born in Iraq and is now a British citizen. Her many notable buildings include the Maxxi Museum in Rome and Eli Broad’s planned art museum at Michigan State University.


This year’s honors include a few other cultural figures -- Michael Boyd, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company; David McVicar, the noted opera director; playwright-actor-director Kwame Kwei-Armah; and Tessa Jowell, Britain’s former culture secretary.


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