Forest Whitaker to Receive Actor Tribute at Gotham Awards

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Forest Whitaker

The Oscar-winning 'Butler' star will be honored at the annual New York event, which takes place on Dec. 2.

Forest Whitaker will be presented with the Actor Tribute at this year's Gotham Independent Film Awards, it was announced today.

The star of Lee Daniels' The Butler will receive the award at the 23rd annual event, set to take place on Dec. 2 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Director Richard Linklater and New York City media and entertainment commissioner Katherine Oliver will also receive tributes at the ceremony.

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"We are thrilled to pay honor to a man whose work has played a significant role in the film world over the last 25 years," said Joana Vicente, executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, which presents the Gotham Awards, in a statement. “Breaking boundaries and challenging audiences with complex, multifaceted roles, Forest Whitaker is a significant independent voice whose performances have only been elevated by his visionary work as a producer, director and humanitarian.”    

Whitaker won the 2007 best actor Oscar for his work in The Last King of Scotland and most recently received acclaim for his performance as the titular White House staffer in The Butler. He also produced this summer's Fruitvale Station, another Weinstein Company awards hopeful. He can next be seen in Black Nativity and Out of the Furnace, both slated to be released later this year.

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Whitaker also directed Waiting to Exhale and Hope Floats. He is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation and has participated in many humanitarian endeavors.

Previous recipients of the Gotham Actor Tribute include Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Kate Winslet.

Nominations for the 23rd Annual Gotham Awards will be announced on Oct. 24.