By Conway Jones
Actor Morgan Freeman received the Kennedy Center Award at the 31st annual national celebration of the arts along with five other notables this past Saturday in Washington, DC.
The Kennedy Center honors recognize individuals who have had an impact on American culture through the performing arts, part of the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy.
The awards were presented Saturday night at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She addressed each honoree, beginning with Freeman, who once played the president in the movie “Deep Impact.”
“I know that when you played the African-American president of the United States, most people thought that would happen when a comet hit,” Rice said. “But wonder of wonders, fiction has become true.”
Freeman, 71, who starred this year in “The Dark Knight,” suffered broken bones in a Mississippi car crash in August. The Oscar-winning actor said he was still recovering from nerve damage in his left hand.
“Morgan Freeman’s name is synonymous with great screen acting and is one of the most respected performers in American cinema,” said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman.
Other honorees were singer George Jones, director, singer, actress, composer and producer Barbra Streisand, choreographer Twyla Tharp, and musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who.