Academy Award–winning actor Morgan Freeman will be honored at the 43rd Annual Chaplin Award Gala held at Lincoln Center on Monday, April 25, 2016. The evening will celebrate the remarkable talent of an actor who has portrayed some of the most memorable characters committed to film. The event will be attended by a host of notable guests and will include movie and interview clips culminating in the presentation of The Chaplin Award.

“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. “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.”

“Morgan Freeman is one of most highly regarded and beloved actors of his generation and we are excited to honor all of his achievements with the Chaplin Award, our biggest fundraiser of the year, which recognizes those whose mastery of their craft has made an impact on the art of film,” said the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Executive Director Lesli Klainberg. “Whether in a leading or supporting role, he brings a quiet gravitas to each of his memorable performances in such films as Lean on Me and Driving Miss Daisy to Street Smart, The Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Million Dollar Baby, and Invictus.”

After beginning his acting career in Off-Broadway stage productions of The Niggerlovers and an all African-American production of Hello Dolly, Freeman segued into television. Many people grew up watching him on the long-running Children’s Television Workshop classic The Electric Company, in which he played the Easy Reader among several recurring characters. Looking for the next challenge, he set his sights on both Broadway and the silver screen simultaneously and quickly began to fill his résumé with memorable performances.

Freeman’s work has continued to earn him accolades, including the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in Million Dollar Baby in 2005. He 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.

Morgan Freeman with Sidney Poitier, the recipient of the 38th Annual Chaplin Award in 2011. Photo by Mike Coppola.

Freeman with Sidney Poitier, recipient of the 38th Annual Chaplin Award, in 2011. Photo by Mike Coppola.

 

Through Revelations Entertainment, a company he co-founded, Freeman is an executive producer on CBS’ Madam Secretary, now in its second season, the host and executive producer for the three-time Emmy nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, which recently completed its sixth season and will soon be seen hosting the series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on the National Geographic Channel.

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.

The Film Society’s Annual Gala began in 1972 when it honored Charlie Chaplin, who returned to the U.S. from exile to accept the commendation. Since then, the award has been renamed for Chaplin, and has been presented to many of the film industry’s most notable talents, including 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.

Support for the 43rd Chaplin Award Gala is generously provided by Major Sponsor Jaeger-LeCoultre.

For information about presale opportunities at the 2016 Gala, please contact our Patron’s Desk at patrons@filmlinc.org or call 212-875-5668.