Morgan Freeman has been named the 54th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.
Freeman will be presented the accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 21 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The award is given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.”
Freeman has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear and a Kennedy Center Honor. SAG-AFTRA made the announcement Tuesday.
“I am thrilled to announce Morgan Freeman as this year’s recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Some actors spend their entire careers waiting for the perfect role. Morgan showed us that true perfection is what a performer brings to the part. He is innovative, fearless and completely unbound by expectations. As a chauffeur, convicted murderer, boxing gym attendant, pimp or president, Morgan fully realized every character, baring their souls and showcasing their humanity. It has been a privilege to see his genius at work.”
Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor for “Million Dollar Baby.” He was nominated for Oscars for “Street Smart” (1987), “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) and “Invictus” (2009). He also won a SAG Award for “Million Dollar Baby.”
He has nearly 100 feature film credits including “The Dark Knight,” “The Bucket List,” “Glory,” “Lean on Me,” “Se7en,” “Amistad,” “Bruce Almighty,” and “Along Came a Spider.” Recent credits include “Going In Style,” “Ben-Hur,” “Now You See Me 2” and “London Has Fallen.” Freeman’s upcoming films include “Villa Capri” and Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”
Freeman broke out in 1971 when he starred in the Children’s Television Workshop show “The Electric Company.” He is an executive producer with Lori McCreary on the Revelations Entertainment series “Madam Secretary” for CBS and he hosts and is an executive producer for the Revelations series “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman,” which recently completed its seventh season for the Science Channel.
Freeman also hosted the series “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” on the National Geographic Channel and will next host “The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman,” which premieres Oct. 11 on the National Geographic Channel.
Freeman’s voice is also one of the most popular among documentarians with work on “The C Word,” “We the People,” “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” and Science Channel’s “Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking.” He narrated the ESPN 30 For 30 documentary “The 16th Man,” which won a Peabody Award, and two Academy Award-winning documentaries, “The Long Way Home” and “The March of the Penguins.”
Freeman also voiced spots heard in the presidential campaigns for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
SAG-AFTRA also noted that in 1973, Freeman co-founded the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, which supports and nurtures promising African-American playwrights, and supports Artists for a New South Africa and the Campaign for Female Education. He also co-owns the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Miss.
Lily Tomlin received the SAG Life Achievement Award this year. Recent honorees have included Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Rita Moreno, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore.