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George Eastman Museum to Honor Michael Keaton with George Eastman Award before Sold-Out Crowd Tonight

Rochester, N.Y., June 9, 2016—The George Eastman Museum will honor actor Michael Keaton with the George Eastman Award this evening at a sold-out event. The Eastman Award is the museum’s highest honor in motion pictures and recognizes Keaton’s distinguished contribution to the art of film. The award ceremony begins at 8 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre. More than 500 people will attend the ceremony, which will feature a video compilation of his work and a conversation with Keaton, followed by a reception in the museum.

Keaton addressed members of the media and museum staff at a press conference this morning. Prior to this evening’s event, he will tour the Eastman Museum with Bruce Barnes, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director. Keaton will have the opportunity to view the museum’s exhibitions, selections from its extensive photography collections, and its technology and film vaults.

“We are honored to present Michael Keaton with the George Eastman Award,” said Dr. Barnes “From the beginning of his career to his current projects, Keaton’s contributions to the art of cinema have established him as a strong and versatile actor, and we look forward to introducing him to the George Eastman Museum.”

Keaton also introduced a special screening of Beetlejuice, which is cited as one of the actor’s favorite films, to a sold-out crowd in the Dryden Theatre last night.

In accepting the Eastman Award honor, Keaton joins the company of film legends such as Charles Chaplin, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Cecil B. DeMille, Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Martin Scorsese, James Stewart, Meryl Streep, and most recently, Michael Douglas. The George Eastman Award was established in 1955 as the first retrospective film award to honor artistic work of enduring value.

An actor with forty years of experience in television and film, Keaton has brought to the screen a cast of sometimes quirky, often unforgettable characters in more than forty films, including Night Shift (1982), Mr. Mom (1983), Clean and Sober (1988), Beetlejuice (1988), Pacific Heights (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), and Multiplicity (1996). Keaton’s voice is well known to the younger set from his work on Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Minions (2015).

Keaton has enjoyed renewed acclaim in recent years with his starring roles in Birdman (2014) and Spotlight (2015) both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making him one of the few actors whose films have won back-to-back Best Picture Oscars. For his performance in Birdman, Keaton won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Earlier this year, Keaton also received the French Order of Arts and Letters medal from the French government in Paris. This summer he will appear as McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc in The Founder, which will be released nationwide on August 5 by the Weinstein Company.

A Michael Keaton film series will continue at the Dryden this summer, including:

  • July 6:  Mr. Mom (Stan Dragoti, 1983)
  • July 13: Clean and Sober (Glenn Gordon Caron, 1988)
  • July 30: Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997)
  • August 3: Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992)
  • August 18: Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)

For more information, visit eastman.org/dryden

About the George Eastman Award

Since its founding in 1947, the George Eastman Museum has championed the creativity, history, and preservation of cinema and photography and their related technologies. The George Eastman Award was established by the museum in 1955 to recognize individuals who have made a distinguished contribution to the art of film. The George Eastman Award was the first lifetime achievement award given by a US cultural institution to honor cinematic work of enduring value. Since its inception, the award has recognized more than sixty actors, directors, and cinematographers.

About the George Eastman Museum

Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit eastman.org.