Monty Python star Terry Jones and the writer Meic Povey are among those who received honorary fellowships in Cardiff on Friday.
Terry's recent work involves scriptwriting for international productions
The honours were bestowed by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
It recognises outstanding achievement in music, drama and the arts by Welsh artists - or those working in Wales.
Also honoured at the students' graduation ceremony was Welsh choral conductor John S Davies and opera singer Robert Lloyd.
Sir Charles Mackerras, who is the conductor emeritus of Welsh National Opera, and composer, painter and conductor Andrew Wilson Dickson also received honorary fellowships.
Nick Beasley, director of external relations at the college, said Terry Jones and Sir Charles Mackerras were unable to fit the ceremony into their busy diaries.
"But certainly we are looking for an opportunity for them to come and visit as soon as possible," he said.
The fellows were chosen after a number of committees looked at a recommendation list from staff.
He said fellows have held workshops in the past, including one chaired by Sir Anthony Hopkins who popped in during a visit to Cardiff.
"One of the most famous fellows and alumni, Sir Anthony Hopkins, phoned up one morning to come down," said Mr Beasley.
"We literally changed the timetable and he talked to acting students, that happened last year."
Meic Povey is regarded as one of Wales' leading dramatists
The college hopes to foster a relationship with all of the fellows which will benefit the students in the future, said Mr Beasley.
Terry Jones is best known for being one-sixth of Monty Python but he has also found success as a TV presenter and author.
Born in Colwyn Bay in 1942, he went to Oxford where he teamed up with Michael Palin.
Their comedy expertise spawned BBC hit shows and the pair then formed Python with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle.
His career also moved into children's books and history.
Fellow Meic Povey - a detective in the popular drama series Minder - is acknowledged as one of Wales' leading writers, in addition to his work acting and directing.
Based in Cardiff, he has written for TV and theatre and was one of the co-creators of the BBC series Pobol y Cwm.
His recent English stage play, Indian Country, has played in Wales and Edinburgh.
Povey's play - Tair - will be translated for production in five European languages.
This year's fellows join a list of notable names at the college.
Michael Ball, Rebecca Evans, and Michael Bogdanov have also been honoured in the past.
The college principal Edmond Fivet announced the fellowships in June.