Hollywood legend and film icon Robert De Niro has been announced as the 56th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
The award, bestowed by SAG-AFTRA, has been given to an actor annually since 1962, for their work in the industry which have, in the words of the organization, demonstrated “outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession”, and there are certainly very few actors who can attest to achieving this more than De Niro. He will join an eclectic group that has included numerous film and television icons that have represented the art of acting through their storied careers.
De Niro has commented on the award, releasing a statement where he stated: “I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honor to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA.”
In a career that spans over fifty years, De Niro has become one of the most acclaimed and celebrated actors of his generation. Whether it be his enormously acclaimed roles in major films such as Raging Bull, Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy (all of which were with arguably his greatest collaborator, Martin Scorsese, who De Niro recently worked with again in The Irishman), or his penchant for choosing fascinating roles in slightly smaller projects, he has always been a great representative of his profession, and an ally to many filmmakers, whether well-established veterans or plucky newcomers. Throughout his career, De Niro has honed is craft through working with a variety of auteurs directors, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Sergio Leone, Terry Gilliam, Quentin and Agnès Varda, all of which gave the actor some of the most memorable work of his career, and aided him in becoming the film icon he is revered as today.
The award is one of just many that De Niro has achieved throughout his career. He is the recipient of two Academy Awards from seven nominations (Best Supporting Actor in 1975 for The Godfather Part II and Best Actor in 1981 for Raging Bull), a Golden Globe, six BAFTA nominations and innumerable other awards for his film work over the course of his career. He has also been the recipient of several honorary awards, such as the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2011, an Honorary Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival, a Kennedy Center Honor, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Film Institute, the Director’s Guild of America and GLAAD, amongst others. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
De Niro will receive the award at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will take place on the 19th of January 2020. He can currently be seen in his long-anticipated reunion with Martin Scorsese, The Irishman, which is currently in limited theatrical release, and will debut worldwide on Netflix on the 27th of November.