Two-time Oscar winner George Clooney (“Syriana,” “Argo”) became the 46th recipient of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement award on Thursday, June 7. The recorded ceremony airs June 21 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on TNT. Last year’s recipient Diane Keaton opens the show, and 2012 honoree Shirley MacLaine presents the award at the end of the ceremony. Other presenters include Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Don Cheadle, Amal Clooney, Courteney Cox, Laura Dern, Anna Kendrick, Jimmy Kimmel, Julianna Margulies and Bill Murray. Miley Cyrus performs a tune from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?.”
Once a year, the AFI singles out an actor or filmmaker who’s distinguished career is worthy of inclusion. In honor of Clooney’s achievement, let’s tour through the 46 illustrious names that have been lionized by this prestigious group in our photo gallery above.
Prior to picking composer John Williams in 2016, the AFI had only opted for actors, actresses, and directors beginning way back in the 1970s when the recipients were director John Ford (1973), actor James Cagney (1974), director/actor Orson Welles (1975), director William Wyler (1976), actress Bette Davis (1977), actor Henry Fonda (1978) and director Alfred Hitchcock (1979).
Along with Clooney, Keaton, MacLaine and Williams, others still alive are: actor Kirk Douglas (1991), actor Sidney Poitier (1992), actor Jack Nicholson (1994), director Steven Spielberg (1995), actor/director Clint Eastwood (1996), director Martin Scorsese (1997), actor Dustin Hoffman (1999), actor Harrison Ford (2000), actress/director Barbra Streisand (2001), actor/director Tom Hanks (2002), actor Robert De Niro (2003), actress Meryl Streep (2004), director George Lucas (2005), actor Sean Connery (2006), actor Al Pacino (2007), actor/director/producer/writer Warren Beatty (2008), actor/producer Michael Douglas (2009), actor Morgan Freeman (2011), director/actor Mel Brooks (2013), actress Jane Fonda (2014) and actor/writer Steve Martin (2015).
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