Denzel Washington to Receive AFI Life Achievement Award

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Denzel Washington

"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," said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees.

The American Film Institute Board of Trustees on Friday announced that Denzel Washington will be the recipient of the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award.

The multiple Oscar-winning actor will be bestowed the honor at a gala tribute next summer.

"Denzel Washington is an American icon," Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees, said in a statement. "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's career — for which he has won numerous awards — has spanned five decades. He has appeared in some of the most classic films of his day, including Philadelphia, Glory and Training Day.

The AFI Life Achievement Award was established in 1973. Previous honorees include Orson Welles, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon, Sidney Poitier, Sean Connery, Diane Keaton and George Clooney.