Daniel Day-Lewis said he was “entirely amazed” to receive a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The star is not short of honours - his 2012 Oscar win for Lincoln made him the first man to win three best actor statuettes.
He said: “I’m entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure.”
Sir Daniel, the son of former poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon, has been nominated five times for the best actor Oscar and has a reputation for taking his method acting very seriously.
He is said to have lived in a tent on a deserted Texan oil field during the making of There Will Be Blood.
To play Guildford Four member Gerry Conlon in the film In The Name Of The Father, he spent two days in a prison cell without food and water.
While shooting The Ballad Of Jack And Rose, he chose to live apart from his wife Rebecca Miller and their two children - because she was the director and he was playing a conflicted family man.
Fellow Oscar-winner Dame Maggie Smith has been elevated to a Companion of Honour
For a generation of TV viewers, the 79-year-old is now inextricably linked with her role as the Countess of Grantham in period drama Downton Abbey, while fans of the Harry Potter films will recognise her as Professor McGonagal.
But she has had an extensive career stretching back to the 1950s, beginning professionally at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952 and within four years appearing on Broadway.
Small screen star Damian Lewis, who has earned fame on both sides of the Atlantic in Band of Brothers and Homeland, is made an OBE.
He said: “I was very surprised but very happy to accept.
“I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment.”
Mr Lewis, 43, said his family were “delighted, when they stopped asking what it was for”.