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AFI Life Achievement Award

AFI Life Achievement Award

  • Premiered: 
    April 2, 1973
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Award
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Entertainment
  • Tags: celebrity

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Plot Synopsis

Every year since 1973 (except in 2020 & 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic), the American Film Institute (AFI) has bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award -- the highest honor for a career in film -- to one recipient during a gala tribute. The AFI selection criteria states that "the recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time." In 1993, the AFI Board of Trustees extended the criteria to encompass individuals with active careers and work of significance yet to be accomplished. The first recipient was John Ford; other recipients include: Denzel Washington, Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Sean Connery, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Barbara Streisand, Harrison Ford, Jane Fonda, John Williams, George Clooney, and more.
The 48th AFI Life Achievement Award was presented to Julie Andrews at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 9, 2022 and was first televised on TNT one week later on Thursday, June 15 from 10-11:30pm ET/PT. TCM will also air the program on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT. The ceremony was originally set to take place in 2020.

Sian Heder, Carol Burnett, Steve Carell, Bo Derek, Hector Elizondo, Cynthia Erivo, Jane Seymour, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Brandi Burkhardt and cast members from THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Angela Cartwright, Duane Chase, Nicholas Hammond, Kym Karath and Debbie Turner), came together to honor Ms. Andrews' incredible career and celebrate the joy she has brought to audiences around the world.

The star-studded evening featured tributes and speeches from Carol Burnett, Steve Carell, Gwen Stefani, Hector Elizondo and Jane Seymour; and taped messages from Dick Van Dyke, Anne Hathaway, Ariana DeBose, Hugh Jackman, Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly Clarkson, Nicola Coughlan and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In honoring her friend of six decades, Carol Burnett said, "This award is so very much deserved. She has constantly given us her all. And her 'all' is awe-inspiring. Congratulations, chum."

In talking about working on the film 10 with Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Bo Derek said, "Blake and Julie made seven films together. And as impressive as that is, it's nothing compared to their 41 years of marriage...And for me and for all of us, what they had onscreen and off, was a perfect 10."

To honor Andrews' iconic role, Cynthia Erivo performed a moving rendition of "Edelweiss" -- Julie's favorite song from THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

In accepting the award, Andrews said, "This night reminds me with great clarity how many people are involved with making movies. What a huge collaborative effort it takes to bring film to the screen. My husband Blake never liked when people referred to filmmaking as the business or an industry. He insisted that film was an art form and should always be called that. And I know that is exactly the way the AFI feels also."

Other Titles

  • Also known as AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to...
  • Previously known as: American Film Institute Salute to


  • Dolby Theatre (2013-2019, 2022) - Los Angeles, California USA - Map It!