The American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award created this prestigious award to honor an individual’s lifetime contribution to American cinema. The winners include multiple-award-winning directors, actors, and actresses with careers that spanned decades, many of whom are household names. When planning movie nights for family or friends, choosing from among Life Achievement Award winners can help in the selection of time-honored and modern popular films that are sure to be enjoyed.
Alfred Hitchcock (Director)
Honored in 1979, Hitchcock is best known for popularizing edgy mystery and thrillers in the US, employing some of the best actors of the day for his successful feature films, including Cary Grant, James Stewart, and many others. His movies continue to be easy to find favorites.
Elizabeth Taylor (Actress)
Honored in 1993, Taylor began her career as a talent child actress and blossomed on screen into one of the most recognizable and desirable beauties of the twentieth century. Her career spans a wide range of genres, including family films, historical dramas, and comedies, to name a few. Her 2011 death has inspired renewed interest in her films.
Tom Hanks (Actor)
Honored in 2002, Hanks is the youngest recipient honored with a Life Achievement Award, selected at age 45. His continuing career includes a robust array of family and romantic comedies and more serious movies filmed with drama and action, some of which fans view again and again. Many examples of his work are sure to stand the test of time.
George Lucas (Director/Screenwriter)
Honored in 2005, Lucas is best known for his association with successful film franchises, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, which have delighted multiple generations of film-goers. His films are the stuff of true movie marathons and have spawned some very dedicated fans.
Other recommendations: Henry Fonda, Frank Capra, and Morgan Freeman.