Critics' Choice Awards: Eddie Murphy Reflects on Varied Career While Accepting Lifetime Achievement Award

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

The 'Dolemite Is My Name' actor received a standing ovation upon taking the stage.

Eddie Murphy looked back at his nearly 40 years of being an actor while accepting the lifetime achievement award at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday night. 

"Being able to make a living as an actor is a privilege and a blessing. And to make a living making people laugh, there's no higher — you're the luckiest person on Earth to be able to do that," Murphy said. "And I've gotten to do so many different types of things. I've played everything. I've been a cop and a robber and a doctor and a professor. And different ethnicities. I've been animals; I've been a donkey. I even played a spaceship once!"

Murphy warranted a couple of bleeps (and as a result, laughs from the audience) throughout the speech, but wrapped things up by calling the award "perfectly timed."

"I had a really great year. This is a great way to top the year off," added Murphy, whose recent portrayal of comedian Rudy Ray Moore in Netflix's Dolemite Is My Name has drawn rave reviews.

The performance garnered Murphy a nomination for another Critics' Choice Award, but the trophy for best actor ultimately went to Joker's Joaquin Phoenix. However, Dolemite was named best comedy.

Murphy's Dolemite co-star Keegan-Michael Key presented Murphy with the lifetime achievement award, calling him "a cultural phenomenon."

The Critics' Choice Association also praised Murphy when announcing him as the recipient of the award.

"Eddie Murphy is the most commercially successful African American actor in the history of the motion picture business and is one of the industry’s top-five box-office performers overall," the CCA said in a press release. "Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Daddy Day Care. Some of his other most beloved hits include 48 Hours, Trading Places, Coming to America, Harlem Nights, The Distinguished Gentleman, Bowfinger, The Nutty Professor and Shrek."

Taye Diggs is hosting the 25th annual Critics' Choice Awards for the second year in a row. The show is airing live on The CW from Santa Monica's Barker Hangar.