Actor and producer Danny DeVito will be doubly honored at the closing ceremony of the L.A. Italia Fest on March 2. He will be the recipient of the Jack Valenti Los Angeles, Italia Legend Award and will receive one of Italy’s highest civic honors at the ceremony, becoming a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Italian Consul Antonio Verde will present DeVito with the Order of Merit, recognizing his long career in the entertainment industry.
Named for the longtime MPAA president Jack Valenti, the Italia Legend award award is the fest’s highest honor, given each year to an Italian American who has made great contributions to the entertainment industry.
“I am honored to receive the 2018 Jack Valenti Legend Award,” said DeVito in a statement. “I knew Jack well and admired him not only as a wonderful person but also as a world-class, inspirational leader who throughout his years at the helm of the MPAA earned respect for our motion picture industry throughout the world.”
DeVito is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner who has made his mark in TV series including Taxi and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and in numerous films, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment, and Romancing the Stone. He has also produced a number of films throughout his career, including the Academy Award-nominated Erin Brockovich. His family originally comes from San Fele in Basilicata.
Past recipients of the Legend Award have included Al Pacino, Anjelica Huston, Liza Minnelli and Sylvester Stallone.
Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino and producer Marco Morabito will also be honored at the closing night ceremony. Melissa Leo will take home the Italian-American Actress of the Year award. And Blade Runner 2049 set decorator Alessandra Querzola and production designer Dennis Gassner will also be feted.
The 13th annual L.A., Italia Fest is dedicated to Lina Wertmuller, Franco Zefferelli and Bernardo Bertolucci. Screenings of classic and current Italian cinema continue throughout the week at TCL Chinese Theatre.