November 12, 2019 / 8:59 PM / a month ago

Robert De Niro to get lifetime achievement award from actor union

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Robert De Niro arrives for the screening of "The Irishman" during the 2019 BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, Britain October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

(Adds full name of labor union in paragraph two, fixes headline)

(Reuters) - Robert De Niro, a two-time Oscar winner and considered one of the finest actors of his generation, is to get the annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) lifetime achievement award.

De Niro, 76, will receive the award in January, the SAG-AFTRA labor union said on Tuesday.

“I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honor to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA,” De Niro said in a statement.

The star of “Taxi Driver,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and currently “The Irishman” will join the likes of previous lifetime recipients Alan Alda, Elizabeth Taylor, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and Debbie Reynolds at the SAG Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Jan. 19.

The SAG-AFTRA awards are voted on by the 160,000-strong actor union. The lifetime achievement award is presented to an actor who fosters “the finest ideals of the acting profession.”

De Niro, a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, is already the recipient of some of the highest cultural honors in the United States, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Kennedy Center honor.

“From the smoldering inferno of young Vito Corleone to the raging bull Jake LaMotta and everybody’s grandpa Ben Whittaker, (De Niro) continues to touch our hearts and open our minds to new and exciting worlds of understanding and emotion,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement, referring to his roles in “The Godfather II,” “Raging Bull,” and “The Intern.”

The SAG awards for actors in film and television is one of the biggest ceremonies in the Hollywood awards season that culminates with the Oscars on Feb. 9. This year’s nominations will be announced on Dec. 11.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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