De Niro to get lifetime achievement award

Robert De Niro attends the Premiere of Netflix's
Robert De Niro attends the Premiere of Netflix's "The Irishman". Picture: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

ROBERT De Niro, a two-time Oscar winner and considered one of the finest actors of his generation, is being recognised by his peers with an annual lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

De Niro, 76, will receive the award in January, the labour union said on Tuesday.

“I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honour to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA,” De Niro said in a statement.

The star of Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Silver Linings Playbook and currently The Irishman will join the likes of previous lifetime recipients Alan Alda, Elizabeth Taylor, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and Debbie Reynolds at the SAG Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on January 19.

American actor Robert De Niro as as Travis Bickle in ‘Taxi Driver. Picture: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The SAG-AFTRA awards are voted on by the 160,000-strong actor union. The lifetime achievement award is presented to an actor who fosters “the finest ideals of the acting profession.”

De Niro, a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, is already the recipient of some of the highest cultural honours in the United States, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Kennedy Center honour.

“From the smoldering inferno of young Vito Corleone to the raging bull Jake LaMotta and everybody’s grandpa Ben Whittaker, (De Niro) continues to touch our hearts and open our minds to new and exciting worlds of understanding and emotion,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement, referring to his roles in The Godfather II, Raging Bull, and The Intern.

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in ‘Taxi Driver’. Picture: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The SAG awards for actors in film and television is one of the biggest ceremonies in the Hollywood awards season that culminates with the Oscars on February. 9.

This year’s nominations will be announced on December 11.