Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Receive Mark Twain Prize
The 'Veep' star will be honored by the Kennedy Center this fall.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center this fall.
The Veep star will be the 21st recipient and sixth woman to receive the prize, joining such illustrious past winners as Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray and David Letterman. Bill Cosby was a recipient of the prize but the Kennedy Center rescinded his honor earlier this year.
Louis-Dreyfus will be honored at a gala event at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Oct. 21, which the organization said would feature "some of the biggest names in comedy" and be broadcast nationally.
This award joins a long list of accolades for Louis-Dreyfus, who has 11 Emmy wins, six of which came consecutively for her role as Selina Meyer on Veep, a Golden Globe, a Peabody and nine SAG Awards, making her the most decorated actor in SAG Award history.
She's also broken the record for most Emmy wins by a single performer and most consecutive wins for a single role. The Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld alum, who recently battled breast cancer, will soon begin work on the seventh and final season of Veep, which was delayed due to Louis-Dreyfus' treatment.
The prize recognizes people who've had an impact on American society in ways similar to the 19th century novelist and essayist, whose real name was Samuel Clemens.
“Like Mark Twain, Julia has enriched American culture with her iconic, unforgettable, and outright hilarious brand of humor,” Kennedy Center president Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. “Over four decades, her wildly original characters and her gift for physical comedy have left us in stitches.”
Louis-Dreyfus added: “Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying."