In any actor’s career the most praised trophy is receiving a life-achievement award. For Shirley MacLaine it happened four years after her brother, Warren Beatty got his. Thursday night, the actress’ friends and co-stars were there to hear Meryl Streep say the AFI lifetime honour goes to Shirley MacLaine.
Shirley MacLaine is an actress well accustomed with receiving awards. She already packs an Oscar for best actress with the performance in “Terms of Endearment” and has another four nominations. However, the American film Institute life achievement award culminates her career.
The event that took place in a Sony Pictures soundstage had a very long and impressive guest list. Julia Roberts, Jack Black, Jack Nicholson and Sallly Field joined Katherine Heigl, Morgan Freeman and Don Rickles are just a few of the A-list celebrities that were at the AFI event to celebrate Shirley MacLaine’s honour.
Jack Black and several others cracked jokes about the actress’s belief in past lives. Black said “This is not the first lifetime-achievement award she’s won over the ages”, while Carrie Fisher added that MacLaine “is actually some future person’s past life. Can you imagine that lucky bastard?” Jake Nicholson, co-star on “Terms of Endearment” said off MacLaine that she “is the only person outside of the clergy promising them eternal life”.
The ceremony was opened by the actress’s brother, Warren Beatty. “Tonight we’re here to honor a person I have known, a person I have loved my whole life” said Beatty as he was preparing the setting for Meryl Streep to hand the 40th recipient of the AFI honor the prize.
Meryl Streep brought MacLaine to the stage. “Some performers are just indelible. We fall early and we fall hard for them, and we follow them for the rest of our lives. That’s our Shirl. That’s you babe” said Streep.
As she received her honour, MacLaine thanked everybody present and added: “For all the over-achievers in this room, we should relax and enjoy it…because if we don’t do it now, we’ll do it next time”.
The night was highlighted by taped segment of MacLaine’s most memorable parts, such as short clips from “Sweet Charity”, “Being There” and “Guarding Tess”.