Sidney Poitier will be honoured with a Bafta Fellowship, the academy's highest accolade, at the awards ceremony in February.
The annual award recognises the outstanding and exceptional contribution of an individual to film, television or games, and previous recipients include Anthony Hopkins, Martin Scorsese and Helen Mirren.
Poitier, 88, said: "I am extremely honoured to have been chosen to receive the Fellowship and my deep appreciation to the British Academy for the recognition."
The Bahamas-born actor has been nominated for six Baftas during his career, winning best foreign actor for 1959's The Defiant Ones and receiving the Britannia Award for Lifetime Contribution to International Film in 2006.
Poitier became the first African-American to win the best actor Oscar in 1964 for his performance in Lilies Of The Field.
In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence".
Other accolades during his career include seven Golden Globes nominations and being presented with the Cecil B DeMille Award in 1982.
Outside of acting, the celebrated director and civil rights campaigner was knighted in 1974, has served as ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan and Unesco, and was presented with the United States' highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by Barack Obama in 2009.