This month, the American Film Institute announced that award-winning actress Julie Andrews will receive the annual Life Achievement Award at a Gala Tribute on April 25th in Los Angeles. Past recipients of the Life Achievement Award include actor Denzel Washington, director George Lucas and actress Meryl Streep.
There are specific criterion when considering each year’s recipient; namely, he or she must have advanced the film art with each professional accomplishment, been publicly acknowledged for their contributions, and create art that has withstood the test of time.
This year’s recipient surely checks each of those boxes. Hollywood legend Julie Andrews, 83, began her career in Hollywood in the 1960s, starring in films such as The Americanization of Emily. Of course, most recognize Andrews from her classic roles as the von Trapps’ governess in The Sound of Music and an enchanting nanny in Mary Poppins, which earned her an Academy Award nomination and win, respectively.
When asked what she thought of Andrews’ lifetime recognition, junior USC film student Amanda Ursitti said, “I think it’s absolutely brilliant, I would argue one of the first movies people watch as a child is The Sound of Music and that was a big part of my childhood, we grew up with her.”
Indeed, Julie Andrews holds a special place in the hearts of many young film enthusiasts. Whether through her famous “Do-Re-Mi” melody in the Sound of Music, or her regal portrayal of Queen Clarisse Renaldi opposite Anne Hathaway in 2001’s The Princess Diaries, Andrews represents a grace that defines generations of Hollywood film evolution.
Andrews is hardly a stranger to lifelong award recognition. She adds the American Film Institute to her list of Life Achievement Awards, which currently includes the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2007, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Beyond her work in the film, television, and musical realm, Andrews is also a best-selling author, humanitarian, and philanthropist.
“Her talents across time have inspired a shared sense of joy, and her gifts to our cultural heritage are a testament to the power of this art form. AFI is proud to sing her praises,” Kathleen Kennedy, Chair of the Board of Trustees said in a press release on September 20th.
The American Film Institute, a non-profit film conservatory located in Hollywood, California, was founded in 1967 as a national organization with the goal of preserving the legacy of American film, honor past and current artists, and educate future filmmakers. The AFI now includes an accredited graduate school, offering MFA programs in Directing, Producing, Editing, Production Design, Screenwriting, and Cinematography. In addition, the Institute hosts student training exhibitions, workshops, and preservation projects aimed at preserving and expanding the filmmaking community.
TNT will air the Tribute on May 7, 2020 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.