Mel Brooks To Receive 41st AFI Life Achievement Award
Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the American Film Institute's Board of Trustees, announced today the Board's decision to honor Mel Brooks with the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Brooks at a gala tribute on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA.
"Mel Brooks is America's long-reigning king of comedy – and as he taught us long ago, it's good to be the king," said Stringer. "He's a master of an art form that rarely gets the respect it deserves, and it is AFI's honor to shine a bright light on laughter by presenting Mel Brooks the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award."
Reflecting his range of mastery in the entertainment arts – from writing, directing and producing to acting and composing – Brooks (Broadway's The Producers, Young Frankenstein) is only one of 14 people who have won the Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar® and Tony® Award. Brooks is best known for his comedy films including THE PRODUCERS (1968), BLAZING SADDLES (1974), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974), SILENT MOVIE (1976), HIGH ANXIETY (1977), HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1 (1981), TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1983), SPACEBALLS (1987), LIFE STINKS (1991), ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (1993) and DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT (1995) – and he was also executive producer on the Academy Award®-winning THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980). His films have been recognized by the American Film Institute as among the funniest American movies of all time, with three films in the top 15 of AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list: BLAZING SADDLES at #6, THE PRODUCERS at #11 and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at #13.
The 41st AFI Life Achievement Award tribute special will premiere on TNT in late June 2013, followed by encores on its sister network, Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The AFI-Turner relationship is an expansion of an alliance that began in 2011 with TCM PRESENTS AFI'S MASTER CLASS: THE ART OF COLLABORATION, a series of specials taped in front of an audience comprised of AFI Fellows studying filmmaking at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. The specials explore some of the greatest artistic collaborations in film, beginning with Steven Spielberg and John Williams in November 2011 and continuing with David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg in May 2012. A third special is slated to air on TCM in winter 2013.
Sponsors of the 2013 AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Mel Brooks include HP, Deloitte and American Airlines, the official airline of the American Film Institute.
The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 1973. It is presented to a single honoree each year based on the following criteria as mandated through a resolution passed by the AFI Board of Trustees:
"The recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time."