Stephen Graham has shared that his mother died just days before he was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List.
The Line Of Duty and This Is England star paid tribute to his “incredible warrior” mother in an Instagram post that he shared on Saturday after news of his OBE for services to drama was announced.
Sharing a series of childhood photos with his mum, the actor wrote: “A few days ago… this incredible, inspirational, warrior woman With the purest heart… my mum passed away.
“Her words as a child ‘no one is above you and no one is below you… all are equal’ have remained with me throughout my life.
“I feel so honoured and proud to share this with her… An OBE for both of us mum.”
The mixed-race actor has previously credited his mother for helping to put a stop to the racist abuse he suffered on the streets of Liverpool.
Stephen, who is married to his This Is England and Boiling Point co-star Hannah Walters, says his wife helps him decide which roles to take because of his dyslexia.
He told a Bafta session: “I’m dyslexic, so I struggle. My missus actually reads the script and says whether or not I’m doing it. She’s made some good choices.”
Over a three-decade career, Stephen has won plaudits playing Irish, English and American criminals and police officers in blockbuster Hollywood films and hit TV dramas.
He starred in the 2000 crime comedy film Snatch alongside Brad Pitt and Jason Statham, and 2019 gangster epic The Irishman, in which he played real-life mobster Anthony Provenzano alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
He has also played criminals Stephen Shang in Gangs Of New York in 2002, Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies in 2009, and Al Capone in period crime drama Boardwalk Empire.
But he is perhaps best known for his role of short-fused English nationalist Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in the 2006 film This Is England.
He reprised the skinhead character in three Channel 4 series set in 1986, 1988 and 1990.
He also stunned viewers with DS John Corbett’s death in series five of Line Of Duty.
The character was killed off in the hit police drama as he tried to quit the group he was undercover with before getting his throat cut.
This year Stephen starred in the hard-hitting ITV drama The Walk In, musical film Matilda, police comedy series Code 404, and hit BBC show Peaky Blinders.
He also starred alongside Jodie Comer in the Channel 4 film Help, set in a Liverpool care home, which won the International Emmy for TV movie/mini-series in November.
Hard-hitting prison drama Time, co-starring Sean Bean, also won best mini-series at the Bafta TV Awards this year.