Actor-director Tom Hanks and comedian Lily Tomlin are among the five recipients of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, which celebrate “extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world,” the center announced Thursday.
Hanks, 58, “has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation,” and Tomlin, 75, “has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.
Their fellow honorees this year are singer Al Green, ballerina Patricia McBride and singer-songwriter Sting.
An awards gala is scheduled to be held Dec. 7 and recorded for broadcast on CBS on Dec. 30.
Hanks most recently graced the big screen in the biographical drama “Saving Mr. Banks,” about the fractious working relationship between “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers and Walt Disney, and in the fact-based drama “Captain Phillips,” about the hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates. His role in the latter film was hailed as a career performance, although he didn’t receive an Oscar nomination.
Hanks’ upcoming movies include Tom Tykwer’s “A Hologram for the King,” based on the Dave Eggers novel about an American salesman in Saudi Arabia, and an untitled Cold War thriller directed by Steven Spielberg.
Tomlin, a versatile TV, stage and film performer, is set to reunite with her “9 to 5" costar Jane Fonda for the upcoming Netflix sitcom “Grace and Frankie.”
Last year, the Kennedy Center honored Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana, Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock and Billy Joel.
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