Cate Blanchett, Amal Clooney, Jimmy Kimmel, Shirley MacLaine,
Don Cheadle, Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston and More
Celebrate Clooney’s Life and Work
Special to Premiere Thursday, June 21, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on TNT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 8, 2018, Los Angeles, CA — Actor, director, writer and producer George Clooney was honored with the American Film Institute’s 46th AFI Life Achievement Award — America’s highest honor for a career in film — on Thursday, June 7, in an evening filled with laughter, stories, music and emotion at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. TNT will premiere the hour-and-a-half special, THE 46TH AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE CLOONEY, on Thursday, June 21, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by an encore at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will also air the special in September 2018 during a night of programming dedicated to Clooney’s work. This marks the sixth year the Emmy®-winning AFI special will air on Turner networks.
Paying tribute to Clooney were presenters, performers and guests including: Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Don Cheadle, Amal Clooney, Nick Clooney, Courteney Cox, Cindy Crawford, Miley Cyrus, Laura Dern, Richard Donner, David Foster, Andy García, Rande Gerber, Diane Keaton, Anna Kendrick, Jimmy Kimmel, Richard Kind, Norman Lear, Shirley MacLaine, Julianna Margulies, Bill Murray, Juliana Paes, Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Carole Bayer Sager, Jane Seymour and Edward Zwick.
Welcome remarks were made by Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees, and Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. Groundbreaking cinematographer and AFI Conservatory alumna Rachel Morrison was awarded the 2018 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal for her commitment to excellence in film and television. This year, Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Cinematography with MUDBOUND, as well as the first woman ever to shoot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with BLACK PANTHER.
The Tribute to George Clooney began with a special video introduction from President Barack Obama, who described the honoree as “a good man, a good friend, a good citizen and an outstanding maker of film. This Life Achievement Award is well-deserved.” The video was followed by remarks from Diane Keaton (2017 AFI Life Achievement Award recipient) and a hilarious roast from Jimmy Kimmel. Along with moving and entertaining anecdotes from Clooney’s colleagues past and present, as well as from his father Nick Clooney and wife Amal Clooney, the event featured a musical performance of the classic blues song “Man of Constant Sorrow” from O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? by Miley Cyrus. Clooney’s longtime friends and collaborators Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt also provided video tributes.
At event’s end, Shirley MacLaine (2012 AFI Life Achievement Award recipient) presented the honor to Clooney. In her speech, MacLaine said, “The humanity in you is what has always caught my attention,” adding, “Please use your imagination for the future of all of us.”
In accepting the prestigious honor, George Clooney said, “I want to thank everyone who came out tonight to say such incredibly nice things about me — I love every rotten one of you.” He concluded the evening by quoting Edward R. Murrow. “From the words of someone who’s much more intelligent, and whose words we probably need now more than ever,” Clooney said, “‘Good night, and good luck.'”
Proceeds from the Gala support the Institute’s national education programs and the preservation of American film heritage. Sponsors of the 46th AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute include Audi, American Airlines, Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Italian National Tourist Board, Lake Como, NBCUniversal Networks International and VIZIO.
About George Clooney
George Clooney is one of Hollywood’s most dynamic multi-hyphenates, a presence bigger even than his movies. With an instantly recognizable charm, he has captivated audiences in front of the camera, and defined a cinematic voice all his own behind it — all while using his global voice to shine light on issues of human rights, climate change and more. Throughout a career spanning screens big and small, he has earned eight Academy Award® nominations and two wins — with nominations in the most categories ever for a living individual. He won an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actor for SYRIANA (2005), and went on to earn Best Actor nominations for MICHAEL CLAYTON (2007), UP IN THE AIR (2009) and THE DESCENDANTS (2011) — all films grounded by his signature charm, and his universal relatability. Clooney is as accomplished a filmmaker as he is a performer, from his directorial debut CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (2002) to his multiple-Oscar®-nominated GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. (2005) and THE IDES OF MARCH (2011). He earned a Best Picture Academy Award® for producing ARGO (2012). On screen, he continues to deliver performances that are moving, humorous and human, with additional acting credits including: OUT OF SIGHT (1998), THREE KINGS (1999), O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000), the OCEAN’S trilogy (2001, 2004, 2007), SOLARIS (2002), BURN AFTER READING (2008), FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009), GRAVITY (2013) and HAIL, CAESAR! (2016). He is currently at work on the Hulu miniseries CATCH-22, which he directs, produces and stars in opposite Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie.
About the AFI Life Achievement Award
The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees in 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.”
View the full list of past recipients here.
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About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting the entire spectrum of film history. TCM features the insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz along with hosts Alicia Malone and Dave Karger, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. Currently in its 23rd year as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through events as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, the TCM Big Screen Classics series in partnership with Fathom Events, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app.
About the American Film Institute
The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI’s founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.