WRITER, COMPOSER, ACTOR, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER MEL BROOKS, PIANIST AND COMPOSER DAVE BRUBECK, OPERA SINGER GRACE BUMBRY, ACTOR, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER ROBERT DE NIRO AND SINGER AND SONGWRITER BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN TO RECEIVE HONORS DURING "THE 32ND ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS," TO BE BROADCAST DEC. 29 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
CBS Has Broadcast the Kennedy Center Honors Each Year Since Its Debut 32 Years Ago
Writer, composer, actor, director and producer Mel Brooks, pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, opera singer Grace Bumbry, actor, director and producer Robert De Niro and singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen will receive honors for the year 2009, on THE 32ND ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, to be broadcast Tuesday, Dec. 29 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This marks the 32nd year of the special, which has been broadcast on CBS each year since its debut.
In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the 2009 Honorees will be saluted by great performers from Hollywood and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with President and Mrs. Obama, the Honorees will accept the thanks of their peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes.
"This year, the Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals whose unique and abundant artistry has contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman. "With his hilarious movies and musicals, Mel Brooks has created comedic gems that will keep us laughing for years to come. Dave Brubeck's genius has dazzled us for six decades and has helped to define an American art form. Grace Bumbry helped to break the color barrier on her way to one of the most illustrious operatic careers in the 20th century. One of America's greatest cinematic actors, Robert De Niro has demonstrated a legendary commitment to his characters and has co-founded one of the world's major film festivals. With his gritty and honest songs that speak to the everyman, Bruce Springsteen has always had his finger on the pulse of America."
The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the Honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them and the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance taping on Dec. 6. The 2009 Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a dinner dance in the Grand Foyer. The Kennedy Center Honors will be bestowed the night before the gala at a State Department dinner, hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Honors recipients, recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts-whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television-are selected by the Center's Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.
Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser expressed the national cultural center's continued gratitude to the many individuals involved in the success of the Honors program. "In addition to recognizing some of the world's most treasured artists, the Kennedy Center Honors supports a wide variety of artistic programming, as well as the Center's educational and national outreach efforts."
George Stevens Jr., who created the Honors in 1978 with Nick Vanoff, will produce and co-write the show for the 32nd year. The Kennedy Center Honors telecast has been honored with five Emmys for Outstanding Program and is nominated again this year. It has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service to Broadcasting and seven awards from the Writers Guild of America.
RATING: To Be Announced