Jolie, who won a supporting actress Academy Award in 2000 for "Girl, Interrupted," has spoken of scaling back her movie roles to focus on humanitarian work. She said that "to receive an honor related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to."
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Because she is not a British or Commonwealth citizen, Jolie won't be entitled to use the title "dame" before her name. Previous U.S recipients of honorary knighthoods include director Steven Spielberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former President Ronald Reagan.
Most of the honors go to people who are not in the limelight — from soldiers and civil servants to academics and entrepreneurs — but there is always a sprinkling of famous names.
Three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis was made a knight "for services to drama" and can now call himself Sir Daniel. The actor, who won Academy Awards for "My Left Foot," "There Will Be Blood" and "Lincoln," said he was "entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure."There were damehoods for novelist Hilary Mantel, author of the prize-winning Tudor page-turners "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies," and for fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.
Actress Maggie Smith, who plays the imperious Dowager Countess of Grantham on TV's "Downton Abbey," was made a Companion of Honor, an award limited to 65 people "of distinction."
"Homeland" star Damian Lewis was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE.
The British actor said he was "very surprised but very happy" with the honor.