The award will be presented to Washington at a tribute on June 6 in Los Angeles, which will air on TNT at a later date.
“Denzel Washington is an American icon,” said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. “As an actor, he stands tall as a heroic, stoic embodiment of the best in all of us, and he does so with heart, humanity, and one of the brightest smiles to ever light up the screen. Equally formidable as director and producer, he is a creative force to be reckoned with — and one of the most vital, relevant artists working today. AFI is proud to present him with its 47th Life Achievement Award.”
Washington received Academy Awards for the war drama “Glory” in 1990 and for the crime thriller “Training Day” in 2002. He received Oscar nominations for “Cry Freedom,” “Malcolm X,” “The Hurricane,” “Flight,” “Fences,” and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Washington broke into Hollywood on the NBC series “St. Elsewhere.” His notable film credits include “Remember the Titans,” “The Great Debaters,” “American Gangster,” “Inside Man,” and “The Magnificent Seven.” Washington made his feature directorial debut in “Antwone Fisher” and directed himself in “The Great Debaters.”