L.A. Film Critics to Honor Gena Rowlands

Leonard Maltin to receive special citation at the group's Jan. 10 awards dinner

A Woman Under the Influence

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. will present Gena Rowlands with its career achievement award, the group announced on Saturday.

An 84-year-old veteran of film, TV and theater, Rowlands is particularly celebrated for helping to usher in a bold new commitment to realism in American screen acting in the 1960s and ’70s, never more so than in her grittily layered, emotionally fearless performances for the writer-director John Cassavetes. Their 10-picture collaboration, which included such films as “Shadows” (1959) and “Faces” (1968), earned Rowlands two Oscar nominations for best actress, in “A Woman Under the Influence” (1975) and “Gloria” (1981).

Cassavetes received the L.A. critics’ career achievement award in 1986, making him and Rowlands the first husband-and-wife duo to be so honored in the group’s nearly 40-year history.

Over her 60-plus years as an actress, Rowlands has won four Emmys, for “The Betty Ford Story” (1987), “Face of a Stranger” (1991), “Hysterical Blindness” (2003) and “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie” (2004), as well as two Golden Globes, for “The Betty Ford Story” and “A Woman Under the Influence.” She has also appeared in pics directed by her son Nick Cassavetes, including “Unhook the Stars” (1996) and “The Notebook” (2004).

Previous recipients of LAFCA’s career achievement award include last year’s honoree, Richard Lester, Frederick Wiseman, Doris Day and Paul Mazursky.

The group also voted to honor longtime member and past president Leonard Maltin with a special citation in recognition of his 40-year career as a film critic and historian. It’s not the first time LAFCA has celebrated one of its own; past honorees include Charles Champlin and Kevin Thomas.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. will vote on and announce its film awards for 2014 on Dec. 7. Winners will be feted at a dinner on Jan. 10 at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City.