Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 22:25 UK

Film star Freeman to be honoured

Morgan Freeman
Freeman won an Oscar for Million Dollar Baby in 2005

Oscar winner Morgan Freeman has been named as one of the winners of this year's Kennedy Centre Awards.

He will be honoured alongside Who stars Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, as well as singer Barbra Streisand, at the gala in Washington DC on 7 December.

Dark Knight star Freeman is resting at his home in Mississippi after being injured in a car crash last month.

The Kennedy Centre annually awards figures from the world of arts for their contribution to US culture.

'Extraordinary genius'

Other honourees this year include country musician George Jones and choreographer Twyla Tharp.

The Who singer Daltrey said he was "deeply touched" by the award.

"As a teenager growing up in the austerity of post-war England, it was the music I heard emanating from America that gave me a dream to hang my life on," he said.

"That dream was to make music and make it there.

"I am deeply touched at receiving this honour. The warmth and affection I feel from our US audience is humbling indeed."

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who
The Who's Daltrey and Townshend are being lauded for their music

Kennedy Centre chairman Stephen Schwarzman said that musicians Daltrey and Townshend had "transformed the sights and sounds of rock and roll". He added that this year's group of prize winners all possessed "extraordinary genius and tenacity".

Their work had "redefined the way we see, hear and feel the performing arts," said Mr Schwarzman.

In a statement, Streisand - also an Oscar winner - said she was "humbled and thrilled" to be included on the roll of honour.

The award winners will be honoured by President George Bush and first lady Laura Bush at a White House reception - the last to be hosted by the outgoing administration.

The gala will take place after the presidential election but before the new president is sworn in, and is due to include a number of star performances.

Their decorations will be presented by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in a ceremony the night before.

Last year's honours went to singer Diana Ross, film-maker Martin Scorsese, actor Steve Martin, Beach Boys musician Brian Wilson and pianist Leon Fleisher.


SEE ALSO
Stars honoured with US arts award
03 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Freeman discharged from hospital
08 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Actor Freeman 'in divorce action'
07 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Freeman recovering after surgery
05 Aug 08 |  Entertainment

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