AFI to Fete Angela Lansbury, Lawrence Kasdan With Honorary Degrees

The American Film Institute will confer honorary degrees on actress Angela Lansbury and writer-director-producer Lawrence Kasdan on June 10.

The Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees will be presented at AFI’s commencement ceremonies at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Previous recipients include Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Kathryn Bigelow, Mel Brooks, Anne V. Coates, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, Nora Ephron, James Earl Jones, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Robert Towne, Cicely Tyson, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.

Lansbury began her career at the age of 17, earning her first Academy Award nomination for 1944’s “Gaslight” and her second a year later for “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” She earned a third nomination in 1962 for “The Manchurian Candidate.”

Lansbury has appeared in more than 60 features, including “State of the Union,” “The Court Jester,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” “Death on the Nile” and “Nanny McPhee.” She may be best known to contemporary audiences for voicing Mrs. Potts in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and for “Murder, She Wrote,” for which she received an Emmy nomination for each of its 12 seasons.

Lansbury is also the winner of five Tony Awards and received the Academy’s honorary award in 2013.

Kasdan’s first produced work was “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” followed by “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Continental Divide” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” Kasdan debuted as a writer-director on 1981’s “Body Heat” followed by “The Big Chill,” for which he received his first Oscar screenwriting nomination.

Kasdan’s credits include “Silverado,” “The Accidental Tourist,” “Grand Canyon,” “The Bodyguard,” “Wyatt Earp,” “Dreamcatcher” and “Darling Companion.” He received Oscar screenwriting nominations for “Grand Canyon” and “The Accidental Tourist” and a best picture nod for “The Accidental Tourist.”

Kasdan recently teamed with director J.J. Abrams on the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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