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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.
Hosted by Ben Mankiewicz, "50 Years of The AFI Lifetime Achievement Award" is a 105-minute special that looks back at the history of the AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and the work from past honorees. The program celebrates the golden age of Hollywood to the present, featuring music, laughter and unforgettable movie memories from Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Hudson and more. "50 Years of The AFI Lifetime Achievement Award" debuted on Saturday, December 30, 2023 at 8pm ET/5pm PT, and is immediately followed by THE SEARCHERS (9:45pm ET/6:45pm PT), directed by the 1st AFI Life Achievement Award recipient: John Ford.

Established in 1973, the AFI Life Achievement Award celebrates an individual whose career in motion pictures or television has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture. Fifty years later, AFI has now honored 49 remarkable talents and will celebrate the 2024 honoree Nicole Kidman with an AFI Life Achievement Award on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event was originally scheduled for June 10, 2023. Kidman is the first Australian actor to receive the AFI Life Achievement Award.

Other Titles

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


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