Warren Beatty to Receive 36th AFI Life Achievement Award

AFI and USA Network Join Again to Present AFI Life Achievement Award


Oct 04, 2007, 01:00 ET from American Film Institute

    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
     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