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SOURCE The Friars Club
Hollywood Legend Joins Elite Group of Entertainment Icon Award Recipients
NEW YORK, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Friars Club will present its highest honor, the Entertainment Icon Award, to one of the world's most respected film talents, Robert De Niro, at its annual Friars Foundation Gala. The prestigious award, which has been bestowed only four times in the club's 109-year history, will be presented to De Niro by The Friars Foundation, the charitable arm of the legendary Friars Club, at the October 7th black tie gala.
The Icon Award pays tribute to individuals whose accomplishments transcend the entertainment industry by positively redefining the very culture we live in. De Niro will join Hollywood legends Tom Cruise, Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra, as the fifth Entertainment Icon Award recipient since the Friars launched in 1904. The Friars Foundation Gala, the organization's annual flagship celebration incorporating both comedy and music, will take place at New York City's legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
"I'm very happy to be part of an event that raises money for such good causes," says De Niro. "Thank you, Friars! Who am I giving an award to?"
Abbot of the Friars Club, Jerry Lewis says of De Niro, "He is the reason we have the words 'great actor.' He's a good man and an incredible human being."
Chairman of the Friars Foundation, Ambassador Joseph Zappala agrees. "Adding Robert De Niro to our Icon Award honor roll is a testament to his incredible talents and reveres his place in the highest entertainment echelon. The Foundation's mission to foster the performing arts acknowledges the important role that Mr. De Niro has played, not only through his contributions to the industry but also as a role model to performing arts students. We applaud his work and dedication to his craft as well as his humanitarian endeavors," says Zappala.
Considered one of the greatest actors of his time, Robert De Niro is also a well respected producer and director. De Niro, whose career spans almost 50 years, has received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, won two Academy Awards®, one Golden Globe Award and been honored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Academy with the esteemed Cecil B. DeMille Award. He has also been honored with BAFTA's Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film as well as the Actor's Fund Medal of Honor. Early roles in films like Bloody Mama (1970), Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) and Mean Streets (1973) helped set the stage for the prolific career that would follow. De Niro's breakout role as Vito Corleone in 1975's Godfather: Part II earned him his first Academy Award®, followed by Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role in Taxi Driver in 1977. From there his acting career skyrocketed, playing leading roles in iconic films including The Deer Hunter (1978), Raging Bull (1980), Midnight Run (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Casino (1995), Analyze This (1999) and Meet the Parents (2000). More recently, he received a slew of accolades for his work in David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook (2012). Through his production shingle TriBeCa Films, which was formed in 1989, De Niro has produced iconic films like Marvin's Room (1996), Wag the Dog (1997), About a Boy (2002), A Bronx Tale (1993) and The Good Shepherd (2006), the latter two of which he also starred in and directed.
About the Friars Club
The Friars Club was founded in 1904 as a meeting place for entertainers and over the years has achieved legendary status. Its membership includes the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Brian Williams, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Seinfeld, Rosario Dawson, Tom Cruise, Les Moonves, Whitney Cummings, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro. The Friars Club "Monastery" is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan in a classic townhouse and is a haven for entertainers young and old.
About the Friars Foundation
The Friars Foundation was established in 1977 as the charitable arm of the legendary Friars Club. The mission of the Foundation is to help performing arts groups create superior, innovative and affordable programs for the enrichment, education and enjoyment of diverse audiences and participants. The Foundation also helps prepare the next generation of performers and musical artists through scholarship programs for students studying the performing arts. In addition, it has created the Gift of Laughter Wounded Warriors Program, which enables the Foundation to bring laughter and comedy to members of the armed forces injured during service.
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