America’s Highest Honor for a Career in Film to Be Presented June 7, 2018
Tribute Will Air on TNT and Turner Classic Movies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, October 5, 2017 — The American Film Institute (AFI) Board of Trustees announced today that actor, director, writer and producer George Clooney will be the recipient of the 46th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Clooney at a Gala Tribute on June 7, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will return for its sixth year with Turner Broadcasting to air on TNT, followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Audi and VIZIO return as Official Sponsors of the event.
“George Clooney is America’s leading man,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of the AFI Board of Trustees. “Director, producer, writer and actor — a modern-day screen icon who combines the glamour of a time gone by with a ferocious passion for ensuring art’s impact echoes beyond the screen. AFI is proud to present him with its 46th Life Achievement Award.”
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, his work has earned him eight Academy Award® nominations and two wins — with nominations in the most categories ever. 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). His latest project is SUBURBICON (2017), which he directed, and also co-wrote alongside his frequent collaborators the Coen brothers.
About George Clooney
Born in Lexington, Kentucky, to a former beauty pageant queen and an anchorman, George Clooney spent much of his youth in Ohio and Kentucky. He had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, but did not make the cut for the Cincinnati Reds. He was instead encouraged to pursue acting by his cousin, late actor Miguel Ferrer.
In 1984, Clooney landed his first major role on the TV sitcom E/R — not to be confused with the long-running hospital drama, ER, that would later make Clooney a household name. Early TV credits included popular series such as THE FACTS OF LIFE and ROSEANNE, and bit parts on MURDER, SHE WROTE and THE GOLDEN GIRLS. His breakout as Dr. Doug Ross on ER earned him two Primetime Emmy® nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor, and led to high-profile film roles in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996), ONE FINE DAY (1996) and BATMAN & ROBIN (1997). His starring role in the film OUT OF SIGHT marked the beginning of a long-lasting collaboration with one of our greatest filmmakers, Steven Soderbergh, on films including the OCEAN’S trilogy and THE GOOD GERMAN. In 2000, he starred in the Coen brothers’ O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, forging another iconic collaboration that continued with INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (2003), BURN AFTER READING and, most recently, HAIL, CAESAR!
In 2006, he established his reputation as a filmmaker with a distinctive vision when he was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. — the same year he received his Oscar® for SYRIANA.
In 2010, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored him with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.
AFI Life Achievement Award Recipients
George Clooney joins an esteemed group of individuals who have been chosen for this distinguished honor since its inception.
1973 John Ford
1974 James Cagney
1975 Orson Welles
1976 William Wyler
1977 Bette Davis
1978 Henry Fonda
1979 Alfred Hitchcock
1980 James Stewart
1981 Fred Astaire
1982 Frank Capra
1983 John Huston
1984 Lillian Gish
1985 Gene Kelly
1986 Billy Wilder
1987 Barbara Stanwyck
1988 Jack Lemmon
1989 Gregory Peck
1990 David Lean
1991 Kirk Douglas
1992 Sidney Poitier
1993 Elizabeth Taylor
1994 Jack Nicholson
1995 Steven Spielberg
1996 Clint Eastwood
1997 Martin Scorsese
1998 Robert Wise
1999 Dustin Hoffman
2000 Harrison Ford
2001 Barbra Streisand
2002 Tom Hanks
2003 Robert De Niro
2004 Meryl Streep
2005 George Lucas
2006 Sean Connery
2007 Al Pacino
2008 Warren Beatty
2009 Michael Douglas
2010 Mike Nichols
2011 Morgan Freeman
2012 Shirley MacLaine
2013 Mel Brooks
2014 Jane Fonda
2015 Steve Martin
2016 John Williams
2017 Diane Keaton
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.”
Most recently, the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute gathered American film’s finest to honor Diane Keaton on June 8, 2017. Surprise attendee Woody Allen presented the Award to Keaton. The event brought to the stage seven previous AFI Life Achievement Award honorees as performers and presenters: Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Steve Martin, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Sidney Poitier. Additional presenters who paid tribute to Keaton included Lisa Kudrow, Rachel McAdams, Martin Short, Sarah Silverman, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon.
TNT is basic cable’s #1 network in primetime with young adults and is home to one of cable’s most popular slates of original series, including Animal Kingdom, Claws, Good Behavior, The Last Ship, Major Crimes, The Librarians and the upcoming The Alienist and more. TNT’s premium non-fiction series include the upcoming Michael Moore Live from the Apocalypse and Who Run the World?, from Refinery29 and executive producers Sarah Jessica Parker & Morgan Spurlock. TNT also presents popular shows like Arrow, Supernatural, Bones and Castle; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards® and the iHeartRadio Music Awards; and championship sports coverage, including the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
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 and Saturday daytime host Tiffany Vazquez, 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.
TCM is a division of Turner, Time Warner Company, is a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. These efforts are fueled by data-driven insights and industry-leading technology. Turner owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world, including Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, ELEAGUE, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super Deluxe, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), TNT, truTV and Turner Sports.
About the American Film Institute
Celebrating its golden milestone, the American Film Institute began its mission 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. Established by Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential mandate in the White House Rose Garden, AFI is America’s promise to educate today’s audiences and tomorrow’s artists. The Institute was anchored by a foundation of luminaries from the film community including Gregory Peck as Chair, Sidney Poitier as Vice Chair, George Stevens, Jr., as Director and CEO with board members Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Jack Valenti.
In 1969, AFI opened the Center for Advanced Film Studies, now called the AFI Conservatory, an elite MFA program whose inaugural class included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. The program’s acclaimed film and television alumni include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Julie Dash, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, David Lynch and Robert Richardson, among others.
In addition to the AFI Conservatory, AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding movies and TV series of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, and youtube.com/AFI.