New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center unveiled details about its upcoming 38th annual Chaplin Award, which is being presented to Oscar-winner Sidney Poitier. The event, taking place May 2nd at Alice Tully Hall, will feature a host of presenters, including Ben Kingsley, Bill Cosby, Chris Tucker, Dan Aykroyd, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones, Lulu, Mary Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Norman Jewison, Quincy Jones, Quentin Tarantino and Ruby Dee.
The first Film Society Gala honored Charlie Chaplin who returned to the U.S. from exile to accept the award in 1972. Other honorees of the Chaplin Award include: Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and most recently, Michael Douglas.
Poitier’s five decade-career has spanned theater, film, and television, making his big screen debut in 1950 with “No Way Out.” Poitier’s films in the ‘50s, notably “Cry, The Beloved Country,” (1952), “Blackboard Jungle,” (1955) and “The Defiant Ones” (1958), for which Poitier was nominated for an Academy Award, were frequently controversial for the time and often addressed issues of racial equality both home and abroad.
In 1961 Poitier would reprise a role he played on the Broadway stage for the Hollywood adaptation of “A Raisin in the Sun.” In 1963, Poitier’s performance in “Lillies of the Field,” earned him the Oscar for Best Actor, the first time a black man had been so honored.
Tickets, benefiting the Film Society of Lincoln Center include admission to the Gala Tribute and post-celebration reception. For more information, visit their website.