Last night actor Morgan Freeman accepted the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Life Achievement Award. It was a packed house at Sony Studios in Culver City, California where friends, family and Freeman’s peers gathered to honor his outstanding career in television and film.
Some of those who came out were Clint Eastwood, Sidney Poitier, Helen Mirren, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Robbins, Forest Whitaker and Cuba Gooding Jr.
The 74-year-old Oscar winner listened intently as star after star shared what they admire about him and his work.
Samuel L. Jackson speaks on stage
Sidney Poitier & Morgan Freeman
The celebration which lasted three-and-a-half-hours included clips of Freeman’s legendary films and early performances from him singing and dancing on TV’s “The Electric Company” in the early 1970s to clips from “Glory” “Driving Miss Daisy” and Freeman as God, as in “Bruce Almighty” and “Evan Almighty.”
“I should be ashamed to say that sooner or later, I knew that someone was going to call on me to play God,” Freeman said. “I just had to be sure that when I said OK, that it was a comedy.”
There were also musical tributes by Garth Brooks Betty White and Rita Moreno.
Garth Brooks performs
Morgan Freeman & Family
Forest Whitaker, Morgan Freeman & Cuba Gooding Jr.
Freeman is the 39th recipient of the AFI honor, which recognizes those whose talent helps advance the art of film. Previous honorees include Sidney Poitier, Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor, Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock.
The AFI ceremony will air as a special on TV Land on June 19.
Photos by Winter & Granitz, Wire Image
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