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Michael Keaton to receive George Eastman Award

Actor to be recognized at ceremony on June 9 in Rochester for his contribution to the art of film

Michael KeatonRochester, N.Y., April 21, 2016—The George Eastman Museum will honor actor Michael Keaton with the George Eastman Award, the museum’s highest honor in motion pictures, on Thursday, June 9. The award recognizes Keaton’s distinguished contribution to the art of film. In accepting the honor, he 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. 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. Later this year, he will appear as McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc in The Founder, which will be released nationwide on August 5 by The Weinstein Company.

“We are honored to present Michael Keaton with the George Eastman Award,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “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 will accept the George Eastman Award in a ceremony on June 9, at 8 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre. The ceremony will feature a video compilation of his work and a conversation with Keaton, followed by a gala in the museum. The event is open to the public, and tickets begin at $100. Tickets will go on sale to the public on May 5 at 10 a.m. Members of the museum will have access to advance ticket sales, beginning April 27. To become a member of museum, visit eastman.org/membership or call (585) 271-3361 ext. 261 for more information. 

Ticket Information

  • Patron: $250, includes prime reserved seating for ceremony, admittance to gala, valet parking, and a program signed by Michael Keaton
  • Supporter: $125, includes preferred reserved seating for ceremony, admittance to gala, and valet parking
  • Friend: $100, includes reserved seating for ceremony, admittance to gala, and valet parking

Visit eastman.org/eastmanaward2016 for more information and to purchase tickets. 

To kick off the 2016 Eastman Award celebration, the Dryden Theatre will screen Beetlejuice, which Keaton has cited as one of his own favorite films, on Wednesday, June 8 at 8 p.m. 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

The George Eastman Museum has championed the history, preservation, creativity, and passion of photography and film since opening its doors in 1949. The George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film was established by the museum in 1955 to recognize that same commitment in individuals. The George Eastman Award was the first film award given by a U.S. cultural institution to honor artistic work of enduring value. The first two presentations of the award in 1955 and 1957, known as the Festival of Film Artists, recognized the legends of the silent film era (1915–1930). Since then, the George Eastman Award has evolved to recognize a range of motion picture artists, including actors, directors, and cinematographers.