Denzel Washington to Receive 47th AFI Life Achievement Award – American Film Institute


Denzel Washington to Receive 47th AFI Life Achievement Award

Denzel Washington will receive the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award, America’s highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Washington at a Gala Tribute on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Los Angeles, CA.

The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will return for its seventh year with Turner Broadcasting to air on TNT, followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Audi and American Airlines return as Official Sponsors of the event.

Actor, director and producer Denzel Washington is an iconic leading man whose career spans five decades — an esteemed repertoire ranging from screen to stage, in works defined by his towering presence as heroic everymen, troubling antiheroes and real-life figures with complicated, often controversial histories. His cinematic legacy includes powerhouse, Academy Award®-winning performances in GLORY (1989) and TRAINING DAY (2001), as well as celebrated roles in CRY FREEDOM (1987), MALCOLM X (1992), THE HURRICANE (1999), FLIGHT (2012) and ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. (2017), earning additional nominations for each. Washington has crafted compelling, unforgettable characters in recurring collaborations with master directors past and present, bringing stalwart grit and nuanced complexity to films essential to the American canon, such as Jonathan Demme’s PHILADELPHIA (1993), Spike Lee’s INSIDE MAN (2006) and Ridley Scott’s AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007) — and to blockbuster, crowd-pleasing fare such as Edward Zwick’s (AFI Class of 1975) CRIMSON TIDE (1995), Tony Scott’s MAN ON FIRE (2004) and Antoine Fuqua’s THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016).

A creative force behind the camera as well, Washington has helmed critically acclaimed films, including ANTWONE FISHER (2002) and THE GREAT DEBATERS (2007), in which he also stars. He won a 2010 Tony® for his performance in the play “Fences,” and directed, produced and starred in the 2016 film adaptation that earned him Best Actor and Best Picture Oscar®nominations, as well as AFI AWARDS recognition.

Comments (30)

Kerstin Alm

Am sure the entire Industry has been waiting for this upcoming event.

Kerstin Alm

Was fortunate to be at Morgan Freemans Life Achievement event at Sony Pictures.

Holly Miklasz

I am absolutely “thrilled” about this nomination! He is my all-time favorite actor………and he is so deserving of this award! Fantastic!!


Congratulations Mr. Washington!
Excellent choice, AFI!

E.milton wheeler

Congrats young man!


A talented gentleman and a fine, generous human being.

Jo An Kincaid

What an excellent choice. Remember the Titans is one of my “go to” movies.

Denise Young

This is a well-earned honor for Denzel (first name used with the utmost respect). I remember going to the show to see his very first film, Carbon Copy. And while his film and stage repertoire is much too expensive to list everything, let us not forget his early performance as Peterson in A Soldier’s Story. The beauty of his performance is that he both stood out and harmonized with all the incredible talent embodied in that black actor ensemble.

Rodrigo Rocha

Must of time I need awnsers in my life and career I listen to his wisdom words “ I also have kept God in my heart and he has kept me humble “
I can only dream to active success and be able to tell him how he has influence my life at AFI

Carlos Correa

I coming. Thank you

Max Fraley

When will tickets be available? Please advise.

Vanessa Rogers

I am follower of Denzel Washington, would love for me and my son to attend Gala Tribute. I think this would alsi be a hood experience for my son Ralvell Rogers II, 2018 graduated from Emporia State University, major English, minor in creative writing. He’s had many pieces published. Hes goal is to become a famous author. Just being present I believe will be a great experience for him. Please provide location and any direction of importance. Thanks

    Vanessa Rogers

    Correction: good not hood

Roman Alis

I once saw DW in ‘A Soldiers Play’ as an actor in NY thinking this individual will be a great film actor someday. It was refreshing watching his work evolve as I taught Theatre Arts over several decades. He has been an inspiration to my Theatre Arts students as well as to me as an actor and teacher. We are blessed to have seen Denzel Washington on stage and film. I hope he will remain a national treasure to us all.

Daniel Iyo

Congratulations to Denzel Washington
and the AFI on the selection as the next recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award.

His body of work is amazing; and his first film roles in “A Soldier’s Story” left in indelible mark on his possible greatness (sic potential) as a film star.

bex wilkinson

I may be interested in attending this if it is open to members- I have to renew my membership but I did just give $1000 to the Women’s Director program. thank you!
Bex Wilkinson

    Nichole A

    HI Bex,
    Lets see how we can help you get to the event. Please contact me at the membership line at 800.774.4234.
    I look forward to speaking with you.

LaCora Stephens

Much deserved.


Congratulations Denzel! “Devil in a Blue Dress” wasn’t mentioned, so it’s being mentioned so it will be know, your talent goes beyond the named projects.


About time! Well deserved.

Ralph L. Howell

Congratulations to Denzel ! You are well deserving of this great honor. As an 84 years African American male movie fan since the age of six, I have seen them all and you are among the best. Ralph L. Howell

Max Fraley

A distinguished award most deserved by a man who himself has distinguished the career he chose. It is a satisfying pleasure to know such a class “A” person is being recognised by the industry for accomplisments far “above and beyond” the norm for his peer group. Denzel… You be the “MAN”.


CONGRATULATIONS! MR. WASHINGTON!!! You really blessed me 3 different times when I had the pleasure of meeting you. I met you at the BLACK ACADEMY AWARDS that was held at the BEVERLY WILSHIRE HOTEL. You signed my book and pecked me on the cheek. I was an usher when they honored you and your wife one Sunday afternoon and GLADYS KNIGHT sang to you. Ernest Dickerson was the CAMERA man and at another event, it was my thrill to meet you again. YOUR are my inspiration because your performance in GLORY was AWESOME. I was a LIMO DRIVER that night when you won. I sat on the sat of the stage in the back working security. SO happy for you and I’ve seen REMEMBER THE TITANS over 9 times. Every time it’s shown on TV I watch that and THE EQUALIZER. YOU ARE THE MAN!!!

Spencer Shannon

8 time *OSCAR contender & 2 time winner *DENZEL was a surprise, same with *CLOONEY last year, whom I really like though & of course *Denzel too! However others were more in line & deserviung first by far *ANTHONY HOPKINS, *SUSAN SARANDON, *D. DAY-LEWIS,etc

Spencer Shannon

& on that note, I’m not only an *OSCAR ODDSMAKER-(20 for 24 last year) & my 36th year at it, my favorite game of entire year. But am a bona fide cinephile as well & looking at AFI’s own (SINS OF OMISSION & I KNOW YOUR RECIPIENTS MUST ACCEPT AWARD IN PERSON, UNLIKE *UNCLE OSCAR (HENCE NO: GARBO, *KAE, *&BRANDO, *WOODY ALLEN & MORE. BUT ONES CERTAIN TO HAVE PERSONALLY ACCEOTED AFI’S ANNUAL AWARD ARE OR WERE> *CHAPLIN, CARY GRANT, JOHN WAYNE, BOB HOPE, MITCHUM, *GINGER RIGERS & MORE????)

Henry Copper

Congratulations to him. He deserve this respect.

Sharon Miner

He has always been one actor in Hollywood that is just full of love for this business, and the talent he has is just outstanding. What an honor to be recognized for his greatest accomplishments in such a wonderful way. Congratulations to a top knotch actor and human being.


Congratulations Mr. Washington, I’m sure your parents are smiling from heaven about your accomplishments.

Lynda Parmely

Nothing but a man, human, decent, talented and of distinction. Very much deserved and next stop SNL as a host, and maybe his wife can appear on it with him.


Congartes Denzel for the award. 🙂 Cheers

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