Sir Patrick StewartPatrick Stewart, known mostly for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and three X-Men films but also for his Shakespearean stage career and as an occasional voice actor, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom for his lifetime of service to the world of drama, according to this article by Yahoo (via the Associated Press).

Also becoming a Sir in the New Year honors list for his services to film was filmmaker Peter Jackson, via a separate selection made in New Zealand, where he is based, and which is recognized by the Queen, who is the country’s head of state.

Patrick Stewart’s voice acting career includes his role as Bullock, the head of the C.I.A. in Seth McFarlane’s American Dad and four appearances in McFarlane’s Family Guy (as Bullock, himself, Peter [when he imagined that Peter and Stewart swapped vocal cords] and Stewart’s Star Trek: The Next Generation character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard). He has also lent his voice to such animated films as the 2005 U.S. version of NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, The Prince of Egypt, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Chicken Little, Steamboy and the 2006 direct-to-video motion picture Bambi II.

Peter Jackson’s knighthood for services to film honors not only his pushing of the boundaries in the art of storytelling and animated visual effects, but the huge effect that his company Weta has had in the New Zealand the area, creating many new jobs and a thriving tourism business for those wishing to visit the land of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. That interest is sure to soar again with the production of the two-film The Hobbit in 2010-2011, while other recent accomplishments for Weta’s team have been the groundbreaking 3D animation seen in James Cameron’s Avatar and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Tintin films.