Steven Spielberg to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award, DGA's Highest Honor

1998 DGA Awards Feature Film Steven Spielberg

January 31, 2000

Steven Spielberg has been tapped to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Directors Guild of America, DGA President Jack Shea announced today. Formerly known as the D.W. Griffith Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors distinguished career achievement in motion picture directing, and is the Guild’s highest tribute. The Award was last given in 1998, to Francis Ford Coppola. Spielberg will be officially presented with the award at the 52nd Annual DGA Awards on March 11, 2000.

Spielberg joins an illustrious list of DGA Lifetime Achievement Award winners, including Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra, John Ford and Cecil B. De Mille. [A complete list of winners follows this release.]

"It is truly astonishing that Steven Spielberg, with so many great films still ahead of him, is already such a perfect choice for the ultimate directorial honor," DGA President Shea said. "Although he is still in the prime of his career, Steven has already won a record three DGA Feature Film Awards and been nominated a record nine times in that category. And it is particularly fitting that the DGA, an organization of people who truly understand what a monumental feat it is to consistently direct such amazing films, is paying tribute once again to his immense talent."

Spielberg’s three DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film have come for The Color Purple, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, with six additional nominations for Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Empire of the Sun and Amistad. Fourteen years ago, Spielberg’s DGA Award win for The Color Purple marked his first major Hollywood award.

Spielberg has also won two Academy Awards, for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, and has received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. His directing career has spanned more than three decades, and also includes films such as The Sugarland Express, 1941, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Always, Hook, Jurassic Park and The Lost World.

The DGA Lifetime Achievement Award (formerly known as the D.W. Griffith Award) was first presented in 1953, and has been bestowed twenty-nine times. Awardees are selected by a panel composed of the current and all living past presidents of the DGA.

1953 - Cecil B. De Mille
1954 - John Ford
1956 - Henry King
1957 - King Vidor
1959 - Frank Capra
1960 - George Stevens
1961 - Frank Borzage
1966 - William Wyler
1968 - Alfred Hitchcock
1970 - Fred Zinnemann
1973 - David Lean
1973 - William A. Wellman
1981 - George Cukor
1982 - Rouben Mamoulian
1983 - John Huston
1984 - Orson Welles
1985 - Billy Wilder
1986 - Joseph L. Mankiewicz
1987 - Elia Kazan
1988 - Robert E. Wise
1990 - Ingmar Bergman
1992 - Akira Kurosawa
1993 - Sidney Lumet
1994 - Robert Altman
1995 - James Ivory
1996 - Woody Allen
1997 - Stanley Kubrick
1998 - Francis Ford Coppola
2000 - Steven Spielberg

Contact
Lily Bedrossian -
Director of Media Relations
(310) 289-5334
lbedrossian@dga.org