Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine has been selected to receive the American Film Institute’s 40th Life Achievement Award, the AFI’s highest honor for a career in film.
MacLaine’s younger brother, Warren Beatty, received the AFI honor in 2008.
“What is not to love about Shirley MacLaine,” said Bob Gazzale, the president and CEO of AFI. “The challenge will be how to fit it all into one evening because hers is a life that has gone from movies to television to Broadway, books and beyond. She defines the term renaissance woman and what an honor for the AFI to shine a proper light to all she’s given the world. Then when you get into her films, it’s across genres, it’s across decades. This is a force of nature all to our benefit."
MacLaine, 77, will receive her award at a gala tribute on June 7. TV Land will broadcast the tribute sometime later that month.
In addition to Beatty, previous recipients of the award include Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Morgan Freeman, Kirk and Michael Douglas, Sidney Poitier, Alfred Hitchcock, James Cagney and Jimmy Stewart.
MacLaine, who made her film debut in Hitchcock’s 1955 dark comedy “The Trouble With Harry,” has starred in more than 50 feature films, earned six Oscar nominations, winning lead actress for 1983’s “Terms of Endearment” and received seven Golden Globes including the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. A bestselling author, her latest book, “I’m All Over That -- and Other Confessions,” was published this year, and this fall MacLaine received France’s cultural award, the Legion of Honor.
She began her career in the early 1950s dancing in a revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!.” As understudy for star Carol Haney in 1954 in the musical "The Pajama Game," MacLaine took the stage the night producer Hal B. Wallis was in the audience. He took notice of MacLaine and she was signed to a contract at Paramount.
MacLaine earned her first Oscar nomination for 1958’s “Some Came Running” and her second for Billy Wilder’s 1960 best picture winner “The Apartment.” She and Wilder reteamed for 1963’s “Irma La Douce,” which netted her another nomination. She was nominated for lead actress once again for 1977’s “The Turning Point,” before finally winning for “Terms of Endearment.” MacLaine also was nominated for producer of the 1975 feature documentary “The Other Half of the Sky.”
Among her recent films are 2010’s “Valentine’s Day” and the upcoming “Bernie.”
Photo: AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Shirley MacLaine. Credit: Michel Spangler/AP