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Morgan Freeman to receive American Film Institute’s 39th Life Achievement Award


LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman will receive the American Film Institute’s 39th Life Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization honoring a career in the film industry, the group announced today.

“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,” he said.

Freeman will receive the award June 9, and the ceremony will be broadcast at a later date on TV Land.

Freeman, 73, won an Academy Award for his supporting role in “Million Dollar Baby.” He was nominated for a lead-actor Oscar for his work in “Invictus,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” He was nominated for his supporting work in “Street Smart.”

He has also appeared in films including “The Bucket List,” “Glory,” “Unforgiven,” “Se7en,” “Along Came a Spider,” “Amistad” and “Deep Impact.”

Freeman will next be seen alongside Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich in “Red,” which is scheduled for release Friday.

Previous winners of the AFI Life Achievement Award include John Ford, Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, George Lucas, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Al Pacino and this year’s recipient, Mike Nichols.