The actress, whose career can be traced back to the theatre in York for which her mother was wardrobe mistress and her father the house doctor, will receive the Richard Harris Award, named after the late film star, at the British Independent Film Awards on December 2.
Dame Judi, who is 83 and whose career stretches from an early modern revival of the York Mystery Plays in 1951 to M in the James Bond films, said: “It has been my absolute privilege to spend almost 60 years working in the British film industry, one of the most vibrant and creative in the world.
“To be recognised with this award, which bears the name of the great Richard Harris and counts some of my favourite actors and actresses amongst its past recipients, is a source of deep pride.”
The actor Jared Harris, son of Richard, said: “Dame Judi has stolen every scene she has ever been in, and stolen our hearts along the way.
“Although she hates being called a national treasure and prefers to be thought of as a jobbing actor, she is undeniably both the standard bearer and the gold standard for British actors.”
Previous recipients of the award include Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter and, last year, Vanessa Redgrave.