2009 Kennedy Center Honors

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Each year a group of distinguished artists joins a prestigious club, even more select than Oscar winners, at the Kennedy Center Honors. Now in its 32nd year, the Honors reviews the careers of legends from the performing arts -- dance, music, opera, theater, film and television -- as the recipients watch from an Opera House box, usually with the president and first lady in adjoining seats. The list numbers 168, including the five inductees who will be honored this Sunday night.

Now considered a rarified Washington event, the Honors were the brainchild of George Stevens Jr., founder of the American Film Institute, and the late Nick Vanoff. Stevens continues as the co-producer with all the moments of thanks and tributes chronicled in a two-hour prime-time special, which will air Dec. 29 on CBS at 9 p.m.

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