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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 21:21 GMT
Good Life actress awarded the CBE
Penelope Keith after receiving her CBE
A rose was named after the actress Penelope Keith in 1984
Veteran actress Penelope Keith, best known for her roles in The Good Life and To The Manor Born, has been awarded the CBE at Buckingham Palace.

The 66-year-old, from Milford in Surrey, was honoured by the Queen on Wednesday for services to charity.

During her career she has won two Bafta awards, and was made an OBE in 1989.

Her voluntary work includes presidency of the Actors' Benevolent Fund, raising funds for an air ambulance scheme and work with the Royal British Legion.

In 2002 she was appointed High Sheriff of Surrey, a role historically responsible for the safety of judges within the county.

Keith has also become involved with an organisation called the Crime Diversion Scheme operating in HMP Coldingley, Woking, that brings together potential young offenders and inmates in a bid to help the youngsters turn their lives around.

Household name

The actress said: "I moved down to Surrey around 30 years ago and got involved in some local charities and during my time as High Sheriff of Surrey I saw a lot of work of other charities.

"At Coldingley, the inmates talk to these young people and spend a day with them and try to convince them to go on the straight and narrow."

She was born Penelope Anne Constance Hatfield on 2 April 1940 in Sutton, Surrey, and first became interested in acting at the age of six while at boarding school.

Parts in The Avengers and The Morecambe and Wise Show were among her first television appearances.

She became such a household name that in 1984 a rose was named after her.

Speaking on Wednesday about her time in television and the theatre, she joked: "It's gone on forever. I've been at it a long time. But I really like to keep a good foot in the theatre and do plays mostly.

"When I started there was so much work. People didn't come into my business to be famous - they trained and learnt their craft."

Actress backs hospital campaign
20 Feb 07 |  England
The Good Life of Penelope Keith
30 Dec 06 |  Entertainment

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