SAG Awards: Debbie Reynolds to Receive Life Achievement Honor

Debbie Reynolds Horizontal - H 2014
AP Images

Debbie Reynolds Horizontal - H 2014

The actress will be presented with the union's top award at the Jan. 25 ceremony

Debbie Reynolds has been selected to receive the 2014 Life Achievement Award at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The actress will be the 51st recipient of the award, the union's highest accolade, which honors career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment and is given annually to an actor who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession."

The award will be presented at the upcoming ceremony, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.

SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said of Reynolds: "She is a tremendously talented performer with a diverse body of screen and stage work, live performances and several hit records. Her generous spirit and unforgettable performances have entertained audiences across the globe, moving us all from laughter to tears and back again."

Reynolds — an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe nominee — has starred in more than 50 movies, two Broadway shows and two TV series. The actress, 82, made her official film debut in the 1950 musical The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady before landing a contract at MGM.

She went on to appear in such films as Singin' in the Rain; The Unsinkable Molly Brown, for which she received an Oscar nomination; How the West Was Won; the film version of the Broadway hit Mary, Mary; Goodbye Charlie; Divorce American Style; How Sweet It Is; and In & Out.

On the TV side, Reynolds received a 1970 Golden Globe nomination for The Debbie Reynolds Show and starred in ABC's Aloha Paradise in 1981. She also earned a 2000 Emmy nomination for best guest actress for her recurring role as Debra Messing's mother in Will & Grace and appeared in last year's Behind the Candelabra.

Reynolds also has been an active philanthropist. In 1955, she co-founded a charity to fight the stigma of mental illness. In 1979, Reynolds established the Debbie Reynolds Studio in North Hollywood to provide a comfortable space for dancers to rehearse and attend professional classes. Among the artists who have graced its facilities are Lucille Ball, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bette Midler, Cher, Usher, Mariah Carey and Johnny Depp.

She has been a lifelong supporter and fundraiser for the Girl Scouts and has been involved in the collection and preservation of memorabilia from Hollywood's first half-century of filmmaking.