Manny P. here…
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that actor Al Pacino, rock band The Eagles, gospel and blues artist Mavis Staples, and singer-songwriter James Taylor will be honored for influencing American culture through the arts. A spokesperson for the center calls Pacino’s selection a long overdue tribute.
The co-star of The Godfather trilogy, who is regarded as one of the great American actors, has been the benefactor of the obvious oversight. Many of his peers, who became leading men in 1970s Hollywood, have already received tributes, including Warren Beatty, Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, and Robert Redford. AL PACINO ->
Born in East Harlem, and raised in the South Bronx, Pacino began to draw notice for his onstage work in the late 1960s, and he won his first Tony Award in 1970. With his daring choices and deep immersion into his roles, he was among the 1970s movie stars who redefined what a Hollywood leading man could look and sound like.
He had just one major film role to his credit when writer-director Francis Ford Coppola cast him as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. He reprised the iconic role two years later in the groundbreaking sequel, The Godfather Part II, and Pacino received Oscar nominations for both performances.
Al also starred in two other 1970s classics, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon. He worked sparingly in the 1980s but had another string of memorable starring roles in the 1990s, including Scent of a Woman, for which he won his first Academy Award after seven previous nominations. Other screen credits include Scarface, Heat, Donnie Brasco, and The Insider. More recently, he’s done memorable work in television, playing real-life figures, Jack Kevorkian and Phil Spector.
For The Eagles, the recognition will be bittersweet. The band was tapped for the honor last year, but postponed its appearance because of founding member Glenn Frey’s failing health. Frey died in January, about a month after last year’s gala.
Mavis Staples got her start as part of a family gospel band, singing alongside her four siblings, with her father, Pops Staples, on guitar. Her dad was a friend of Martin Luther King Jr., and The Staple Singers’ popular hits became a soundtrack for the Civil Rights movement. She has also performed twice at the honors ceremony, paying tribute to Paul McCartney and Al Green.
James Taylor has sold more than 100 million albums, won multiple Grammy Awards, and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The honorees will be celebrated at a gala on December 4th, featuring performances and tributes from top entertainers. The show will broadcast on December 27th on CBS.
Until next time> “never forget”