Julie Walters, John Hurt and Helena Bonham Carter will battle it out at the TV Baftas on Sunday after being nominated for their portrayals of real-life people.
Hurt is in the running at the glitzy annual event for reprising the role of Quentin Crisp - 34 years after he received the award for playing the flamboyant gay writer in The Naked Civil Servant.
Hurt, 70, is up for Leading Actor, up against Kenneth Branagh for Wallander, Brendan Gleeson for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Into The Storm (BBC2) and first-time nominee David Oyelowo for his performance in Small Island (BBC1).
Hurt made his reputation and caused a sensation when he took on the role of the eccentric Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant in 1975. He took up the part again for An Englishman In New York (ITV1) last year.
The Philips British Academy Television Awards will be hosted by Graham Norton from the London Palladium on Sunday night.
The ceremony will also see Walters clock up her 13th and 14th Bafta nominations - with two nods in the Leading Actress category.
She is in the running for her role as the late politician Mo Mowlam in the Channel 4 drama Mo, and for her performance in A Short Stay in Switzerland, the BBC1 drama inspired by the story of Dr Anne Turner, who took her own life in Zurich in 2006.
Walters is up against Bonham Carter, who received her first Bafta TV nomination for her performance as children's author Enid Blyton in the BBC1 drama Enid.
Sophie Okonedo is also in the running for her powerful performance as Winnie Mandela in the BBC4 drama Mrs Mandela.
Okonedo also has a nomination in the Supporting Actress category for Criminal Justice (BBC1), where she is up against Imelda Staunton (Cranford), Rebecca Hall (Red Riding 1974) and Lauren Socha (The Unloved).