The American Film Institute will honor comedian, actor, and writer Steve Martin with their 2015 lifetime achievement award. It will be presented next summer on June 4.
Martin has now completed the trifecta of career acheivement awards for film, having received an honorary Oscar last November and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007.
In making the announcement, AFI board of trustees chairman Howard Stringer said, “Steve Martin is an American original. From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution. His work is defined by him alone, for he is the author – and a national treasure whose work has stuck with us like an arrow in the head. AFI is proud to present him with its 43rd Life Achievement Award.”
Martin’s film career took off in 1979 with the Carl Reiner movie “The Jerk.” He then followed in the 1980s with starring roles in “Pennies From Heaven,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “The Man With Two Brains,” “The Lonely Guy,” “All of Me,” “Three Amigos,” “Roxanne,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and “Parenthood.”
Since his breakout decade, other films have included “L.A. Story,” “Father of the Bride,” “Leap of Faith,” “The Spanish Prisoner,” “Bowfinger,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Shopgirl,” and “The Pink Panther.”
Last year’s AFI recipient was two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda. The 2013 program honoring director and writer Mel Brooks was so well-received, it won the Emmy Award a few weeks ago as Best Variety Special.
The annual event began in 1973 with director John Ford as the first honoree. Other notables over the next few years included James Cagney, Orson Welles, William Wyler, Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, and Fred Astaire.
The following living people have already been honored by the AFI: Kirk Douglas, Sidney Poitier, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, George Lucas, Sean Connery, Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Michael Douglas, Mike Nichols, Morgan Freeman, and Shirley MacLaine.
Watch our recent video chat below between executive editor Paul Sheehan and myself from a few weeks ago predicting who would be selected for this tribute.