56th annual accolade to be presented during 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Robert De Niro – Academy Award-winning actor, producer and director – has been named the 56th recipient of SAG-AFTRA's highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. De Niro will be presented the performers union's top accolade at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 ( 8 p.m. ET).
The SAG Life Achievement Award is given annually to an actor who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession." De Niro will add the award to his extraordinary catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, a Silver Berlin Bear, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a GLADD Excellence in Media Award, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award. He was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Brown University.
“Robert De Niro is an actor of extraordinary depth and ability. The characters he creates captivate our imaginations. From the smoldering inferno of young Vito Corleone to the raging bull Jake Lamotta and everybody’s grandpa Ben Whittaker, he continues to touch our hearts and open our minds to new and exciting worlds of understanding and emotion,” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA. “It is my great privilege to announce that SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor will be presented to one of the most singular talents of our generation, Robert De Niro.”
“I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honor to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA,” De Niro said.
A Lasting Impact Through Film
De Niro is the recipient of a SAG Award for his work as a member of the cast of “American Hustle.” He received Screen Actors Guild Awards cast nominations for his work in “Silver Linings Playbook,” for which he also earned an individual nomination, and “Marvin’s Room.” De Niro is a seven-time Academy Award nominee, a six-time BAFTA nominee and a nine-time Golden Globe nominee. De Niro, who made his directorial debut in 1993 with “A Bronx Tale,” in which he also starred, can currently be seen in “Joker.”
De Niro’s breakthrough role was in the 1973 film “Mean Streets,” where he began the first of nine collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. Other films created out of their special partnership include “Goodfellas,” “Cape Fear,” “Casino,” and the recently released Netflix film, “The Irishman.”
De Niro’s incredible repertoire of films includes his Academy Award-winning roles in “The Godfather II” and “Raging Bull,” as well as Oscar-nominated turns for his work in “The Deer Hunter,” “Taxi Driver,” “Awakenings,” “Cape Fear” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” De Niro has proven his versatility with his memorable dramatic roles in “The Untouchables,” “Jackie Brown” and “Backdraft,” and several successful comedies in his career, including “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers,” “Little Fockers,” “Analyze This” and the dramedy “Midnight Run.”
Accomplishments in Television
De Niro’s career has spanned into television where he has received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and four Emmy nominations for his work both on- and off-screen. For his performance as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff in the HBO miniseries “The Wizard of Lies,” De Niro received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series, as well as Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He won a Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for his portrayal of Madoff.
He also earned Emmy nominations for his work as an executive producer on “The Wizard of Lies” and, again this year, as executive producer alongside Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Jeff Skoll and Berry Welsh, on the Netflix drama “When They See Us,” based on events surrounding the 1989 Central Park jogger case.
De Niro served as an executive producer for the NBC series “About a Boy,” starring Minnie Driver.
Philanthropist and Activist
New Yorkers know De Niro as one of the driving forces behind the revitalization of downtown Manhattan into a center for the film industry. In 1989, he and Jane Rosenthal founded the Tribeca Film Center, the first commercial space in Tribeca dedicated to housing film, television, and entertainment companies.
After the attacks of 9/11, De Niro and Rosenthal co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to breathe new life into their neighborhood and spur economic development through the arts. Now welcoming its 19th year, the festival brings hundreds of thousands of visitors downtown each year and is a prominent cultural event not only for New Yorkers, but for the entire film industry.
De Niro and Rosenthal were the 2011 recipients of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership.
He is also co-founder and co-chair of the Tribeca Film Institute, which supports the work and stories of underserved filmmakers.
In addition to his entertainment and philanthropic work, De Niro is involved in several capital ventures, including part ownership of restaurants Nobu and Tribeca Grill, as well as The Greenwich Hotel in New York City and the Locanda Grill, located inside the hotel.
About the Life Achievement Award
Nominated and voted on by members of the SAG-AFTRA National Honors and Tributes Committee, the Life Achievement Award is bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the best ideals of the acting profession. The recipient of this award is a well-established performer who has contributed to improving the image of the acting profession and has a history of active involvement in humanitarian and public service endeavors.
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcaster journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.
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