Veteran actor Sorapong Chatree is among the seven honorees being given the title of National Artist of Thailand for 2008.
The others honored for performing arts are singer and musician MR Thanadsri Sawadiwat, Prasit Pinkaew and Rear Admiral Viraphan Voklang. Ithipol Thang-chalok was named National Artist in fine arts while Adul Jantrasak was named for literature.
According to a recent Daily Xpress article, they'll be awarded the honor on February 21 in a gala ceremony to open an exhibition at the Thailand Cultural Center.
For the 58-year-old Sorapong, these past couple years have been busy, with high-profile, meaty roles in major films. He plays an mentoring monk in King Naresuan, a hermit sorcerer with a split personality in Queens of Langkasuka and a father-figure king of thieves in Ong-Bak 2.
Sorapong got his start acting in MC Chatrichalerm Yukol's Out of the Darkness in 1971 and he remained an in-demand leading man well into the 1990s. His other roles have included Cherd Songsri's Plae Kao (The Scar) and Peun Pang, as well as Sompote Sands' Krai-Tong and dozens upon dozens of other films.