Sporting heroes Gareth Edwards and Ian Woosnam are among the Welsh figures rewarded in the New Year Honours list.
Rugby legend Edwards becomes a CBE while 2006 Ryder Cup captain Woosnam is appointed an OBE in the annual list.
In arts and entertainment, valleys entertainer Owen Money and theatre director Terry Hands are also honoured.
The New Year Honours list sees more than 60 Welsh people officially recognised for their work and contributions to public life.
As well as the famous names, those handed honours include a husband and wife for their work in foster care.
Scrum half Edwards, who had been made CBE for services to sport, is considered by many as Wales' greatest-ever rugby player, winning 53 caps during the golden era of Welsh rugby in the 1960s and 1970s.
During Edwards' era, Wales won seven Five Nations titles, including three grand slams.
Woosnam captained Europe to an emphatic Ryder Cup win
He also starred for the British Lions on their winning tours of New Zealand in 1971 and of South Africa in 1974.
But possibly his most famous moment came when he finished off a length-of-the-field try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973 at Cardiff Arms Park.
Speaking on Radio Wales, he said: "I couldn't believe it. I read [the letter] about three or four times. I thought they'd sent it to the wrong person.
"When this kind of recognition does come along you are just flabbergasted but delighted with the whole thing.
"You don't do it for the recognition. You're just delighted that somebody actually does write you and say you've made a great effort thank you very much."
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis, paying tribute, said Edwards was an "icon" in the game.
"Since finishing playing he has continued to hit the headlines with his work in business and charity and a CBE is just reward for his continued contribution to Welsh life," he said.
Owen Money has been an entertainer for five decades
Woosnam is made OBE following a year in which he captained Europe's golfers to a comprehensive victory over the USA to retain the Ryder Cup.
The captaincy of Woosnam had come under criticism from Dane Thomas Bjorn who had been left out of the team, but the Welshman led his players to a joint-record win over their rivals.
In the world of arts and entertainment, Merthyr Tydfil-born comic, musician and BBC radio presenter Owen Money - real name Lynn Mittell - is made MBE for services to entertainment in Wales.
Money's long career began in the valleys music scene of the 1960s before he progressed to stand-up comedy and latterly to radio and TV presenting for BBC Wales.
Clwyd Theatr Cymru director, Terry Hands, has been made CBE for his services to drama.
The director joined the Mold-based company in 1997 after a long association with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Elsewhere, Paul Sergeant, who recently left his job as chief executive of the Millennium Stadium is made OBE for services to business, while Hywel Pritchard Jones, chief executive of Welsh-language playgroups Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin is given the same award for services to education and the Welsh Language.
Among more than 30 people from Wales made MBE in the New Year Honours list are husband and wife John and Joy Crosby, from Pentyrch, near Cardiff who have fostered 79 children over a 30-year period.