Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Shirley MacLaine Wins Our Lifetime of Achievement Award

It takes a true "Lifetime of Achievement" to merit a Teacher's Pet award from DC Outlook. Need proof? Look no further than the impressive list of past winners (see below.) This year's recipient (our sixth) is Shirley MacLaine, a true legend in every sense of the word. She already has a closet full of awards, including an Oscar, five Golden Globes, an Emmy and an AFI Life Achievement Award (seems the American Film Institute beat us to the punch again) but we'd like to think the lovely Ms. MacLaine could make room for one more.

I had the privilege to see MacLaine in person, last year in Bethesda; and I left the Strathmore Music Center completely smitten. She has the unique ability to entertain a full house (of varied ages & backgrounds) with a myriad of hilarious and insightful tales... and apparently no subject is off limits, even/especially sex. Her life makes for a fascinating read (it's no coincidence, she's written several autobiographies) and I imagine she's the life of every party, lucky enough to have her.

But being (really, really) interesting isn't enough to fully warrant our Lifetime of Achievement award. You have to be an accomplished actor too; and MacLaine's resume is full of sterling performances, beginning with her first Oscar nomination for 1958's Some Came Running opposite real-life pals Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin. Two years later, she wowed again as elevator girl extraordinaire Fran Kubelik in The Apartment. MacLaine earned another Oscar nom, but lost out to Elizabeth Taylor (BUtterfield 8.) She continued to work vigorously, then caught (critical) fire again with dramatic turns in The Turning Point (1977) Being There (1978) and of course Terms of Endearment (1983) which finally netted MacLaine her long overdue first Oscar.

She continues to work, and pile up honors (three Golden Globe nominations in the 90's, three more in the 2000's.) Her most recent movie, Wild Oats co-starred fellow Oscar winners Jessica Lange and Alan Arkin, as well as Demi Moore. Only 81, she shows no signs of slowing down, yet alone retiring. Thank Heaven. It's hard to imagine a more deserving awardee.

Previous Lifetime of Achievement winners...

2011: Gene Hackman
2012: Kirk Douglas
2013: Christopher Lee
2014: Clint Eastwood
2015: James Earl Jones