Shirley MacLaine's religion may be New Age -- but her career has been the stuff of classic Hollywood. Earlier this month, her life, passions, and movies were honored in the 40th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award ceremony, a celebrity-swamped tribute airing this Sunday at 9:00 PM on TV Land.
Highlights of the Event
MacLaine's oeuvre stretches back to the closing years of the movie industry's Golden Age. The guest list at her AFI fete was a reflection of that remarkable durability, featuring faces from Old Hollywood (like her brother Warren Beatty), New Hollywood (Charlize Theron), and Fresh-Out-Of-The-Oven Hollywood (Dakota Fanning).
Other familiar stars included John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Peter Fonda, Melanie Griffith, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. As the only living female film star who comes close to having as many decades of major work to her credit as MacLaine, Streep had the happy task of handing the evening's award to the honoree.
The tribute included a peak at MacLaine's upcoming guest appearance in the Brit hit Downton Abbey -- a telling reminder that at 78, Shirley MacLaine remains a work in progress.
Highlights of the Life
Some Came Running (1958) -- Ginnie Moorehead
Three years after her big screen debut in The Trouble With Harry, (ironically, she was cast because director Alfred Hitchcock wanted an unknown), MacLaine appeared in her first Academy Award nominated role as a simple woman over-the-moon in love with darkly complex novelist Frank Sinatra. On screen, MacLaine was painfully poignant. Off-screen, she became the only female member of Sinatra's Rat Pack.