The American Film Institute said this morning that Denzel Washington will receive the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award. The honor will be presented to the two-time Oscar winner on June 6, 2019 at the AFI’s annual gala tribute.
“Denzel Washington is an American icon,” said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees, in a statement Friday. “As an actor, he stands tall as a heroic, stoic embodiment of the best in all of us, and he does so with heart, humanity and one of the brightest smiles to ever light up the screen. Equally formidable as director and producer, he is a creative force to be reckoned with — and one of the most vital, relevant artists working today. AFI is proud to present him with its 47th Life Achievement Award.”
Washington won Oscars for Glory in 1989 and Training Day in 2001 and has been nominated seven times. He also won a Tony Award in 2010 for his performance in Fences, and later directed, produced and starred in the 2016 film adaptation that earned him Best Actor and Best Picture noms. His last Best Actor nom was for last year’s Roman J Israel, Esq.
The AFI Life Achievement Award was established in 1973 when John Ford won it. George Clooney was last year’s honoree. The AFI said a recipient “should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time.”