WASHINGTON — Thesps Robert Redford and Julie Harris, singers Tony Bennett and Tina Turner and dancer Suzanne Farrell have been selected to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, the org announced Tuesday.
The award recipients were praised by Kennedy Center chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman as “extraordinary American artists” whose unique contributions to our culture have transformed our lives. They will receive the lifetime recognition at a gala and accompanying festivities Dec. 4 in D.C., an event to be broadcast later that month on CBS.
Said Schwarzman: “Tony Bennett is a brilliant musician and singer’s singer whom even the great Frank Sinatra called the best there is. Suzanne Farrell’s profound artistry has inspired the creation of masterpieces and is teaching ballet to a new generation. For half a century, the enchanting Julie Harris has been one of this country’s most acclaimed and revered actors. Robert Redford is an actor-director whose extraordinary support of independent film has had an immeasurable impact on filmmakers and audiences alike, and Tina Tuner’s sizzling talent and indomitable spirit have made her one of the world’s best-loved entertainers.”
The 28-year-old Honors program is a social highlight for the nation’s capital and an enormous revenue generator for the arts facility.
“In addition to recognizing our most treasured artists, the Kennedy Center Honors also extensively support the many performing arts initiatives, education and public service programming, and national outreach effort,” said the center’s president, Michael Kaiser.
The Honors gala will again be produced and co-written by George Stevens Jr., who created the program in 1978 with Nick Vanoff.