For more than five decades Morgan Freeman has entertained cinephiles the world over. For Hollywood, he is the voice of God just like Amitabh Bachchan in the Indian film industry. The veteran actor has now taken home what is considered one of the most coveted honour in entertainment business. The Shawshank Redemption star was honoured with the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award in Los Angeles on Monday.
In his acceptance speech, the 80 year old said, "These moments in life usually call for an entire litany of thank yous. I can't do that because I don't know all of your names, so I won't try. This is beyond an honour. This is a place in history. I want to say thanks to SAGs for this enormous honour".
Freeman has lost none of his charm over the years. Something that award presenter Rita Moreno experienced firsthand on stage. But after the actor was done with his pleasantries and the thank yous, he made an observation about the SAG statue. Something the organizers could take seriously in the future.
"I wasn't gonna do this, but I'm gonna tell you what's wrong with this statue. It works from the back. From the front, it's gender-specific. Maybe I started something", said Freeman.
Rita Moreno was the recipient of the award five years ago. An award that was presented to her by Freeman. Moreno called him a "national treasure". She said, "Morgan is way more than just an actor, narrator, producer, humanitarian. This man is a national treasure. Morgan likes to say that if you become a star, people are going to go to see you. And if you remain an actor, they're going to go see the story you are in".
A still from The Shawshank Redemption
Freeman’s first big break came in the 1970s with a part in the children's TV show 'The Electric Company'. In the decades that followed he has become one of the highest box office stars of all time; he has managed a total box office gross of USD 4.316 billion. That’s an average of USD 74.4 million per film.
Morgan won an Oscar in 2005 for his role in 'Million Dollar Baby' (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in 'Street Smart' (1987), 'Driving Miss Daisy' (1989), 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994) and 'Invictus' (2009).