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Morgan Freeman, Chaplin Award, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Morgan Freeman will receive the Chaplin Award from the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Morgan Freeman is the recipient of the 43rd Annual Chaplin Award. Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the gala will take place on Monday, April 25, 2016. It will celebrate the remarkable career of the Academy-Award winning actor with celebrity guests, as well as movie and interview clips.

The evening culminates with the presentation of the Chaplin Award by a notable guest. I am hoping Clint Eastwood will present Freeman with the award. He directed the actor in three movies, including “Invictus” and “Million Dollar Baby,” for which he received a supporting acting Oscar in 2005.

Morgan Freeman – One of the Most Gifted Actors of Our Time

“The Board is delighted to honor Morgan Freeman with the Chaplin Award this year,” said Ann Tenenbaum, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Board Chairman, in a press release.

“He is one of the most gifted actors of our time, and his body of work has changed the film landscape. He is universally loved as an actor and as a humanitarian, and we are thrilled to add the Chaplin to the long list of distinguished awards he has already received.”

Among Freeman’s many noteworthy films, standouts include “Lean on Me,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Street Smart,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Seven,” “Million Dollar Baby,” and “Invictus.”

Past Recipients of the Film Society of Lincoln Center Chaplin Award

Past recipients of the Chaplin Award include Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sidney Poitier, Barbra Streisand, and, last year, Robert Redford.

I interviewed Mr. Freeman briefly in 2009 by telephone to get his reaction for the New York Times on receiving an Oscar nomination for “Invictus.” “Yippee!” he shouted. He said he was in South Africa, two hours north of Johannesburg, “just riding through the bush to see what we can see” when congratulatory e-mail messages started arriving.

Mr. Freeman is famous for his cool and his authoritative voice. He’s even been the voice of God (“Bruce Almighty”).

The Chaplin Award gala should be studded with A-List filmmakers and actors, all who have worked with Morgan Freeman over the years. Audience members can expect lots of laughs and some great stories.

Morgan Freeman, Chaplin Award, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Morgan Freeman will receive the Chaplin Award from the Film Society of Lincoln Center

From the Film Society of Lincoln Center Press Release:

Freeman also received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for Best Supporting Actor for “Street Smart,” in 1994 for Best Actor for “The Shawshank Redemption,” and in 2010 for Best Actor for “Invictus.” He also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990.

Freeman was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. That same year, he received the 39th AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, Freeman received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor for his distinguished acting, and was honored with the Hollywood Actor Award from the Hollywood Film Festival.

In 2010, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for his performance as Nelson Mandela in “Invictus.” In addition to his Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, he also received a Golden Globe nomination and a Broadcast Critics Association nomination.

He will next be seen in Focus Features’ “London Has Fallen,” Warner Bros’ “Going in Style,” Alfa Films’ “Now You See Me 2” and Paramount Pictures’ “Ben-Hur.”

Freeman is also highly recognized as a narrator, and recently completed the IMAX documentary “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” Science Channel’s “Stem Cell Universe” with Stephen Hawking, and the historical documentary “We the People.” Past narrations include “The LEGO Movie” and two Academy Award–winning documentaries, “The Long Way Home” and “March of the Penguins.”

In 1973, Freeman co-founded the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, which seeks to serve successful playwrights of the new millennium. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Earth Biofuels, a company whose mission is to promote the use of clean-burning fuels, and he also supports Artists for a New South Africa and the Campaign for Female Education. Freeman has been named on the Forbes “Most Trustworthy Celebrities” list each of the five times it has been published since 2006.

He’s also a very good sport. Here he is chatting with Jimmy Fallon while sucking helium out of a balloon.

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