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Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Washington prizes for Clint and Chuck
Clint Eastwood
Eastwood continues to take the lead in his new film Space Cowboys
Actors Clint Eastwood and rocker Chuck Berry will be given one of America's biggest arts prizes later this year.

The two men join actress Angela Lansbury and tenor Placido Domingo among this year's winners of Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement.

The annual prize-giving at the Washington centre - one of America's leading venues of performing arts - will take place on 3 December in its opera house.

US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton will be guests at the ceremony, where a lifetime achievement award will also go to dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean was honoured at last year's awards

The centre's chairman James Johnson said this year's winners had been chosen, by a panel of 103 artists, for their "unique and extremely valuable contributions" to the cultural life of America.

He said Chuck Berry was "a musician who revolutionised American popular music" and praised Eastwood as " a film icon equally brilliant in front and behind the camera".

Russian Baryshnikov, Spaniard Domingo, and British-born Lansbury follow in the footsteps of other international stars, including British actor Sir Sean Connery, to be honoured by the centre.

Popular figure

The gala ceremony will be attended by a host of other artists from around the world, gathered to pay tribute the winners' contribution to the world of entertainment.

Angela Lansbury
Lansbury has had a lengthy acting career

At 74-years-old, Lansbury is the oldest of this year's prize-winners, with a career stretching back 50 years.

She is affectionately remembered for her role in the musical Bedknob and Broomsticks, while performances in Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Manchurian Candidate brought her Oscar nominations.

James Johnson said she was "a beloved actress who had conquered the worlds of film, theatre and television".

In recent years, Lansbury - who became an American citizen after her stage and film career brought her a CBE - has become a popular TV personality as the star of crime drama series Murder, She Wrote.

Chuck Berrry
Rock 'n' roll legend: Chuck Berry

Veteran rocker Chuck Berry, 73, has become known as one the greatest influences on the world of rock 'n' roll.

In his 40-year career, hits such as Sweet Little Sixteen and Go Go Go, have made Berry a music legend and a seminal figure in the evolution of rock 'n' roll.

His songs captured adolescent life, yet he was 30 when he started recording.

Clint Eastwood is best known as the hard-nut cop of the Dirty Harry movies, but he found fame in a string of spaghetti westerns from Italian director Sergio Leone.

Eastwood has diversified into directing in more recent times but, at the age of 70, shows no signs of tiring of acting and is currently starring in Space Cowboys.

Placido Domingo
Domingo has had a record-breaking opera career

Tenor Placido Domingo 59, has taken a record-breaking 115 roles on the operatic stage and has more than 100 recordings to his name.

His Three Tenors performances around the world with Jose Carréras and Luciano Pavarotti are regarded as highlights of the opera world. Domingo is now also musical director of the Washington Opera.

Baryshnikov, 52, defected from the Soviet Union 25 years ago, after rising to key roles in what was then Leningrad's Kirov Ballet - now again the Maryinsky Theatre of St Petersburg.

See also:

25 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Opera chief goes to Washington
28 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Venice honour for Eastwood
14 Jan 00 | Entertainment
Tenors toast Tosca
16 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Stars join Hall of Fame
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