AFI Gala Honors Shirley MacLaine; Ceremony Airs Tonight, 6/24
AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Meryl Streep presented Shirley MacLaine with the American Film Institute's 40th Life Achievement Award - America's highest honor for a career in film. The private black tie gala was held at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City on June 7 and will air on TV Land tonight, June 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Streep, who was honored with the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004, played MacLaine's daughter in POSTCARDS FROM The Edge (1990). Both actresses are multiple Academy Award recipients. Streep, nominated a record 17 times, including for POSTCARDS FROM The Edge, won for THE IRON LADY (2011), SOPHIE'S CHOICE (1982) and KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979) while MacLaine, nominated six times, won for her portrayal of Aurora Greenway in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983).
Luminaries from across the film community will join Streep to celebrate the career of Shirley MacLaine, one of America's treasured motion picture artists. MacLaine will be recognized for her breadth of talents as an actress, songstress, author, director and producer.
"The world loves Shirley MacLaine," said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of AFI. "AFI's challenge will be how to fit it all into one evening because hers is a life that spans from movies to television to Broadway, books and beyond. Perhaps more than any other recipient, with Shirley I would underline the word life in Life Achievement Award," he said. "Hers is a story more than just movies. It's an epic journey, and she has invited all of us to come along for the ride."
"It is sure to be a magical evening celebrating Shirley's career, especially with Meryl Streep and many other stars who will be on hand," remarked Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. "Shirley's storied film and television career is so rich and colorful, it will be an unforgettable tribute."
Proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award gala directly support the Institute's national education programs and the preservation of American film history. The invitation-only event will take place on historic Stage 15 at Sony Pictures Studios, where THE WIZARD OF OZ, GRAND HOTEL, SPIDERMAN and other classic movies were filmed. The stage will be transformed into an elegant ballroom to honor the expansive career of Shirley MacLaine.
Shirley MacLaine's career comprises more than 50 feature films highlighted by an Academy Award(®) win and six nominations, six Emmy(®) Awards nominations, seven Golden Globe(®) Awards - including the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award - and the title of international best-selling author.
MacLaine made her professional debut dancing in a Broadway revival of OKLAHOMA! in the 1950s. Her first film appearance was in Alfred Hitchcock's THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, earning her a Golden Globe Award for "New Star of the Year - Actress" in 1955. At the same time, she starred in SOME COME RUNNING, which led to her first Academy Award(®) nomination and an additionAl Golden Globe(®) nomination. She also starred alongside Audrey Hepburn in THE CHILDREN'S HOUR, based on a play by Lillian Hellman. MacLaine received a second Oscar(®) nomination for her work in the award winning film, THE APARTMENT, co-starring Jack Lemmon and directed by Billy Wilder. She reunited with Lemmon and Wilder for IRMA LA DOUCE in 1963, earning yet another Academy Award(®) nomination.
In 1975, MacLaine received her fourth Oscar(®) nomination, this time for best documentary as a producer and star of THE OTHER HALF OF THE SKY: A CHINA MEMOIR. Two years later, she was once again nominated for her starring role in THE TURNING POINT. In 1983, MacLaine won the
Oscar for her work in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT. Later, she also received a Golden Globe(®) Award for her 1989 performance in MADAME SOUSATZKA. MacLaine was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998. MacLaine's additional credits include notable films such as STEEL MAGNOLIAS with Julia Roberts and POSTCARDS FROM The Edge with Meryl Streep.
A longtime outspoken advocate for civil rights and liberties, women's rights, and spiritual understanding, MacLaine is known for her faith in reincarnation, angels, the power of crystals and other New Age beliefs. She addresses these topics at length, as well as her Hollywood career, in her books, OUT ON A LIMB and DANCING IN THE NIGHT. MacLaine went on to author numerous other books including THE CAMINO and OUT ON A LEASH, all of which are international bestsellers.
Her latest film projects include BERNIE, starring Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey, and Ben Stiller's THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. Her upcoming television appearances include the Primetime Emmy® Award winning series from Julian Fellowes, DOWNTON ABBEY, starring Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern.
MacLaine can also be seen on stage during her one-woman show tour as it hits cities across the globe, combining a montage of memorable film moments with private revelations about her extraordinary life, career, and spiritual journey.
AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of annual programs and special events, including the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. Celebrating its 40th year, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the Institute's almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year.
Photo credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.