Tom Hanks and Lily Tomlin are among the five people selected to receive Kennedy Center Honors this year, according to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
“The Kennedy Center celebrates … extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein in a statement. Rubenstein went on to say that Hanks “has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation,” while Tomlin “has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit.”
The actors join fellow 2014 honorees Al Green, Sting, and ballerina Patricia McBride. They are set to receive their awards during a special gala on December 7, to be attended by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, where they will be saluted by their peers and members of the nomination committee.
Hanks has cemented his status as an American icon over and over again, turning in his latest Oscar-nominated performance last year in “Captain Phillips,” as well as snagging two back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump.” Tomlin, a comedy veteran, will next be seen on Netflix, starring alongside Jane Fonda in the series “Grace and Frankie.”
The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast on CBS on December 30.
via: Kennedy Center, h/t Los Angeles Times
Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Gallery | Oscars 2014 Best Actor Nominees
- Christian Bale (‘American Hustle’)
The versatile Christian Bale is nominated for his role as a fascinating and talented con man who becomes a pawn in an FBI investigation in “American Hustle.” Sporting a sizable beer-belly and a horrible combover, Bale is largely unrecognizable compared to his iconic Batman role or even his turn as a fit mill-worker in another 2013 movie, “Out of the Furnace.” This is the actor’s first nomination for Best Actor, who previously won for Best Supporting Actor in another David O. Russell film, “The Fighter.”
- Chiwetel Ejiofor (’12 Years a Slave’)
British-talent Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated for his critically-acclaimed performance as Solomon Northup, a free black man who is forced into slavery in the deep south. Although he’s had large supporting roles in “Children of Men” and “American Gangster,” among others, Ejiofor is relatively unknown stateside. Now, his name carries more weight after starring in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and appears to be in a close race for the Best Actor statuette along with frontrunner Matthew McConaughey. It is Ejiofor’s first nomination.
- Bruce Dern (‘Nebraska’)
The renowned Bruce Dern is nominated for his comeback role in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” as a cranky, booze-addled patriarch on an impromptu road trip with his son. The actor has been in the business since landing his first role in 1960 and later garnered a Best Supporting Actor nod in 1979 for “Coming Home.” His Best Actor nomination for “Nebraska” marks his second Oscar nod, and some have him picked as the dark horse for this year’s race.
- Matthew McConaughey (‘Dallas Buyers Club’)
Matthew McConaughey is nominated for his star-turn as Ron Woodroof, a rodeo cowboy and hustler, who works the system to give AIDS patients invaluable help after getting diagnosed with the disease himself. Losing over 40 pounds for “Dallas Buyers Club,” the actor has been sweeping up best actor awards this season — from the Golden Globes to the Critics’ Choice Awards — and is the front-runner heading into the Oscars. This marks McConaughey’s first nomination.
- Leonardo DiCaprio (‘The Wolf of Wall Street’)
Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for his role as Jordan Belfort, the charismatic but crooked wealthy stockbroker, in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The naturally talented actor earned his first nomination for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” in 1994 (a role which caught the attention of Scorsese) and he now has four nominations under his belt. DiCaprio won this year’s Golden Globe Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) and there’s little question a Best Actor Oscar statuette is overdue for DiCaprio, but with Ejiofor and McConaughey leading the pack, this is probably not his year.
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