LOS ANGELES, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Warren Beatty has been selected by the American Film Institute's (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, it was announced today by Sir Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. The award will be presented to Beatty at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 12, 2008. "Warren Beatty has charmed movie-goers as a dynamic leading man from his first moment on screen and continues to do so today," said Stringer. "He is also a master filmmaker -- a writer, producer and director of such artistry and influence that his movies -- from BONNIE AND CLYDE to REDS -- have left an indelible mark on the cultural legacy of American film. AFI is proud to present him with its 36th Life Achievement Award." USA Network will broadcast the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute in June, 2008. About Warren Beatty Tall, athletic and movie star-handsome, Warren Beatty has been a force both in front of and behind the camera for more than 40 years-producing, directing, writing and acting. The younger brother of actress Shirley MacLaine was born Henry Warren Beaty in Richmond, Virginia, on March 30, 1937. In his youth, Beatty -- he later changed the spelling of his last name -- enjoyed acting in amateur plays. After attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, for just one year, he dropped out to study acting with Stella Adler. In 1959, Beatty landed his first major role on the CBS sitcom THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS opposite Tuesday Weld. His Broadway debut in William Inge's A Loss Of Roses in 1960 earned him a Tony nomination, and a year later he appeared for the first time on the big screen in Elia Kazan's study of teenage love, SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS, co-starring Natalie Wood. Beatty's role as Wood's troubled but charismatic boyfriend established his early screen persona as an impish, sexy but earnest "bad boy." Similar roles followed, solidifying this image-an Italian gigolo opposite Vivian Leigh in THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE (1961); the older brother in ALL FALL DOWN (1962); and a nurse who becomes too involved with a mental patient in LILITH (1963). One of Beatty's most accomplished portrayals of the 1960s was the title role of Arthur Penn's MICKEY ONE (1965). His bracing performance as a paranoid nightclub performer established him as a major talent. In 1967, Beatty turned to producing, with director Arthur Penn's BONNIE AND CLYDE. By championing the script, supervising rewrites and assisting with casting, Beatty proved to be a truly hands-on producer. In addition, his charismatic lead performance earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, one of 10 Academy Award nominations for BONNIE AND CLYDE, including Best Picture. Robert Altman's anti-Western McCABE AND MRS. MILLER (1971) showcased Beatty's remarkable performance as a self-deluding frontiersman. Politically active -- he played a visible role in McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign and later served as an unofficial advisor during Gary Hart's 1988 bid -- Beatty acted in two of the more socially astute films of the 1970s, including THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974), about an organization of political conspirators; and SHAMPOO (1975) which he co-wrote with Robert Towne. A few years later, HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978), a loose remake of HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941), garnered 10 Academy Award nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director (Beatty and Buck Henry) and Best Screenplay (Beatty and Elaine May). Beatty's acting, writing, directing and producing efforts all coalesced brilliantly in 1981 with REDS, an epic love story based on the life of journalist John Reed, set against the Russian Revolution. Meticulously filmed, this sprawling, passionate tale was inter-cut with documentary interviews of "witnesses," real-life individuals (like Rebecca West and Henry Miller) who were Reed's contemporaries. Beatty also elicited strong performances from co-stars Diane Keaton (as love interest Louise Bryant), Jack Nicholson (as Eugene O'Neill), Edward Hermann (as Max Eastman) and Maureen Stapleton (as Emma Goldman). Nominated for 12 Oscars, REDS received three, including one for Best Director for Beatty. In 1987, Beatty and Dustin Hoffman teamed as struggling singer-songwriters in Elaine May's ISHTAR, a loose homage to the Hope/Crosby road movies. Although savaged by the press and entertainment insiders, both Hoffman and Beatty -- cast against type -- delivered charming turns as the musically challenged duo, and the deliberately awful songs written by Paul Williams perfectly suited the material. In 1990, Beatty directed and starred in the comic strip hit DICK TRACY. The film's stylized primary colors production values, deft performances from the supporting cast (including Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Glenne Headley and William Forsythe) and enjoyable score by Stephen Sondheim all contributed to its commercial success. As mobster Benjamin Siegel in the Barry Levinson-directed BUGSY (1991), Beatty proved once again his immense talents as an actor. BUGSY earned 10 Oscar nominations, including one for Beatty as Best Actor. The film also marked his first collaboration with future wife Annette Bening, who co-starred as Virginia Hill. Beatty and Bening went on to co-star in LOVE AFFAIR (1994), the second remake of the 1939 Leo McCarey film. For this updated version, producer/writer Beatty managed to charm screen legend Katharine Hepburn out of semi-retirement to play a one-scene role. Following a four-year hiatus, Beatty returned to the big screen with BULWORTH in 1998. As director, co-producer and co-writer, Beatty also starred as a politically incorrect US senator, opposite Halle Berry. Most recently, Beatty co-starred with Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Garry Shandling in TOWN & COUNTRY, released in 2001. Among his many honors, Warren Beatty received the Irving G. Thalberg Award in 2000, and in 2004 he was among the six individuals selected for the 27th annual Kennedy Center Honors for his significant contribution to the arts. 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 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." In 1993, the trustees extended the criteria to encompass "individuals with active careers and work of significance yet to be accomplished." AFI Life Achievement Award Recipients Warren Beatty joins an esteemed group of individuals who have been chosen for this distinguished honor since its inception in 1973. 1973 John Ford 1990 Sir David Lean 1974 James Cagney 1991 Kirk Douglas 1975 Orson Welles 1992 Sidney Poitier 1976 William Wyler 1993 Elizabeth Taylor 1977 Bette Davis 1994 Jack Nicholson 1978 Henry Fonda 1995 Steven Spielberg 1979 Alfred Hitchcock 1996 Clint Eastwood 1980 James Stewart 1997 Martin Scorsese 1981 Fred Astaire 1998 Robert Wise 1982 Frank Capra 1999 Dustin Hoffman 1983 John Huston 2000 Harrison Ford 1984 Lillian Gish 2001 Barbra Streisand 1985 Gene Kelly 2002 Tom Hanks 1986 Billy Wilder 2003 Robert De Niro 1987 Barbara Stanwyck 2004 Meryl Streep 1988 Jack Lemmon 2005 George Lucas 1989 Gregory Peck 2006 Sean Connery 2007 Al Pacino About the American Film Institute AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through the AFI Digital Content Lab and AFI K-12 Screen Education Center. As the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the US, AFI ON SCREEN encompasses the annual AFI FEST presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival -- as well as year-round programming at ArcLight Hollywood and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, including SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. AFI AWARDS, the annual almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year, while AFI's 100 Years . . . series has ignited extraordinary public interest in classic American movies. And, during the past 35 years, AFI's Life Achievement Award has become the highest honor for a career in film. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.
SOURCE American Film Institute