Top hon­our

Mor­gan Free­man is the sec­ond African Amer­i­can to re­ceive spe­cial AFI film award.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ENTERTAINMENT - By SU­SAN KING

OS­CAR-WIN­NING ac­tor Mor­gan Free­man was named on Mon­day as the 39th re­cip­i­ent of the Amer­i­can Film In­sti­tute’s Life Achieve­ment Award, AFI’s high­est hon­our for a ca­reer in film.

Free­man, 73, is only the sec­ond African Amer­i­can per­former to re­ceive the hon­our. Sid­ney Poitier got it in 1992.

“Mor­gan Free­man is an Amer­i­can trea­sure,” said Howard Stringer, chair­man of the AFI Board of Trustees.

“Across decades, whether play­ing a pris­oner, a pres­i­dent or God, he em­bod­ies a calm author­ity that de­mands re­spect for the char­ac­ter and for the art form. His gifts to the cul­tural record are also un­der­scored by his un­mis­tak­able voice that echoes through the hearts and minds of movie lovers around the world.”

Free­man will re­ceive his award at a gala trib­ute on June 9 next year; the cer­e­mony will be broad­cast on TV Land Prime later that month.

Pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ents in­clude John Ford, James Cag­ney, James Ste­wart, Al­fred Hitch­cock, Kirk Dou­glas, Michael Dou­glas, Mike Ni­chols, Clint East­wood, Martin Scors­ese, Bar­bara Stan­wyck, El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor, War­ren Beatty, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Ge­orge Lu­cas.

Free­man be­gan his ca­reer more than 40 years ago off-Broad­way be­fore join­ing the cast of the PBS chil­dren’s show The Elec­tric Com­pany.

He won the sup­port­ing ac­tor Academy Award for Clint East­wood’s 2004 boxing drama, Mil­lion Dol­lar Baby.

He re­ceived his first sup­port­ing ac­tor Os­car nom­i­na­tion for play­ing a vi­cious pimp in 1987’s Street Smart. He also earned lead ac­tor nom­i­na­tions for 1989’s Driv­ing Miss Daisy, 1994’s The Shaw­shank Re­demp­tion and Clint East­wood’s 2009’s In­vic­tus, in which he por­trayed South African Pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela.

His lat­est movie, the ac­tion-thriller Red, opens in Malaysian cine­mas on Oct 21. – Los An­ge­les Times/McClatchy-Tribune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Amer­i­can trea­sure: (from left) Richard Drey­fuss, John Malkovich, Mor­gan Free­man and Bruce Wil­lis star in Red. Free­man will re­ceive his Life­time Acheive­ment Award from the Amer­i­can Film In­sti­tute at a gala trib­ute on June 9 next year.

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