The actor and filmmaker is the youngest honoree since 2004

By Joey Nolfi
October 05, 2017 at 04:54 PM EDT
J. Merritt/WireImage


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George Clooney is set to receive the American Film Institute’s highest honor.

For his contributions to the film industry as an actor, director, writer, and producer, the organization announced Thursday that the two-time Oscar winner will receive the AFI Life Achievement Award at a gala tribute June 7 in Los Angeles.

Past recipients of the award include Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Mel Brooks, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, and Martin Scorsese. At 56, Clooney is the youngest honoree in more than a decade; Streep was honored in 2004, at age 54.

“George Clooney is one of Hollywood’s most dynamic multi-hyphenates, a presence bigger even than his movies,” AFI said in the announcement. “With an instantly recognizable charm, he has captivated audiences in front of the camera, and defined a cinematic voice all his own behind it — all while using his global voice to shine light on issues of human rights, climate change, and more.”

Across nearly 40 years on screens big and small, Clooney has worked on big-budget studio fare (Batman & Robin, Ocean’s Eleven), prestige hits (Up in the Air, The Descendants, O Brother Where Art Thou?), and iconic television shows (ER, Roseanne). He won his first Academy Award (on his first acting nomination) for his role in Stephen Gaghan’s 2005 drama Syriana.

Clooney ventured behind the camera for his feature directing debut on 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and went on to receive critical acclaim for subsequent helming efforts, including Good Night and Good Luck and The Ides of March. As a producer, he won his second Oscar for his hand in making Ben Affleck’s 2012 Best Picture winner, Argo.

Clooney’s most recent project as a filmmaker, Suburbicon, premiered in September at the Venice Film Festival. It is scheduled for domestic release Oct. 27.


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