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Kennedy Center Honors

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The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual honor given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. The Honors have been presented annually since 1978 in Washington, D.C., during gala weekend-long events which culminate in a performance honoring the Honorees at the Kennedy Center Opera House.


The Honors were created by George Stevens, Jr. and the late Nick Vanoff; as of 2010, Stevens remains involved as producer and co-writer for the Honors Gala. From 1978 until 2002, the ceremony was hosted by Walter Cronkite; since 2003, it has been hosted by Caroline Kennedy. It is also one of two holiday specials from Stevens' production company (the other being Christmas in Washington).

Recipients

 

There have been 176 recipients to date of the Kennedy Center Honors Awards during the Honor's 34 years[dated info]. The vast majority have been bestowed on individuals. On eight occasions since 1985 awards have been presented to duos, including three married couples: lyricist Alan Jay Lerner & composer Frederick Loewe, actors Hume Cronyn & Jessica Tandy, musical-comedy duo Betty Comden & Adolph Green, the Nicholas Brothers (Fayard & Harold), actors Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward, Kander and Ebb (John Kander & Fred Ebb), actors Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, and musicians Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey of The Who.


1970s'

1978 — Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Richard Rodgers, and Arthur Rubinstein

1979 — Aaron Copland, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Martha Graham, and Tennessee Williams


1980s'

1980 — Leonard Bernstein, James Cagney, Agnes de Mille, Lynn Fontanne, and Leontyne Price

1981 — Count Basie, Cary Grant, Helen Hayes, Jerome Robbins, and Rudolf Serkin

1982 — George Abbott, Lillian Gish, Benny Goodman, Gene Kelly, and Eugene Ormandy

1983 — Katherine Dunham, Elia Kazan, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart, and Virgil Thomson

1984 — Lena Horne, Danny Kaye, Gian Carlo Menotti, Arthur Miller, and Isaac Stern

1985 — Merce Cunningham, Irene Dunne, Bob Hope, Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe, and Beverly Sills

1986 — Lucille Ball, Hume Cronyn & Jessica Tandy, Yehudi Menuhin, Antony Tudor, and Ray Charles

1987 — Perry Como, Bette Davis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nathan Milstein, and Alwin Nikolais

1988 — Alvin Ailey, George Burns, Myrna Loy, Alexander Schneider, and Roger L. Stevens

1989 — Harry Belafonte, Claudette Colbert, Alexandra Danilova, Mary Martin, and William Schuman


1990s'

1990 — Dizzy Gillespie, Katharine Hepburn, Risë Stevens, Jule Styne, and Billy Wilder

1991 — Roy Acuff, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Fayard & Harold Nicholas, Gregory Peck, and Robert Shaw

1992 — Lionel Hampton, Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward, Ginger Rogers, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Paul Taylor

1993 — Johnny Carson, Arthur Mitchell, Georg Solti, Stephen Sondheim, and Marion Williams

1994 — Kirk Douglas, Aretha Franklin, Morton Gould, Harold Prince, and Pete Seeger

1995 — Jacques d'Amboise, Marilyn Horne, B.B. King, Sidney Poitier, and Neil Simon

1996 — Edward Albee, Benny Carter, Johnny Cash, Jack Lemmon, and Maria Tallchief

1997 — Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, Charlton Heston, Jessye Norman, and Edward Villella

1998 — Bill Cosby, Fred Ebb & John Kander, Willie Nelson, André Previn, and Shirley Temple Black

1999 — Victor Borge, Sean Connery, Judith Jamison, Jason Robards, and Stevie Wonder


2000s'

2000 — Mikhail Baryshnikov, Chuck Berry, Plácido Domingo, Clint Eastwood, and Angela Lansbury

2001 — Julie Andrews, Van Cliburn, Quincy Jones, Jack Nicholson, and Luciano Pavarotti

2002 — James Earl Jones, James Levine, Chita Rivera, Paul Simon, and Elizabeth Taylor

2003 — James Brown, Carol Burnett, Loretta Lynn, Mike Nichols, and Itzhak Perlman

2004 — Warren Beatty, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, Elton John, Joan Sutherland, and John Williams

2005 — Tony Bennett, Suzanne Farrell, Julie Harris, Robert Redford and Tina Turner

2006 — Zubin Mehta, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Steven Spielberg, and Andrew Lloyd Webber

2007 — Leon Fleisher, Steve Martin, Diana Ross, Martin Scorsese, and Brian Wilson

2008 — Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand, Twyla Tharp, and Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey

2009 — Mel Brooks, Dave Brubeck, Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro, and Bruce Springsteen


2010s'

2010 — Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman, Bill T. Jones, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey

2011 — Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins and Meryl Streep

2012 — Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant), David Letterman and Natalia Makarova

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The Kennedy Center Honors Wikipedia