Charles Durning has been named Screen Actors Guild's 44th Annual Life Achievement Award recipient.
Nominated and voted on by the Guild's National Honors and Tributes Committee, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award is bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession.
Award Acceptance Speech
CHARLES DURNING: That’s it? [laughter]
BURT REYNOLDS: This is a mic. I know you’re new in the business, but this is a microphone.
CHARLES DURNING: Hello, Mic. [laughter] My thanks to the Screen Actors Guild. There’s nothing more gratifying than having an Achievement Award from one’s peers. Over 50 years ago, I had the honor of working with some of the best actors, directors, and writers in our industry. It’s been a dream come true. A dream that began when I watched the movies of the great character actors of my time. Actors like: Claude Rains, Lee J. Cobb, Frank Morgan, and King Kong. [laughter] And it’s impossible to thank all of the people who so gratefully wanted me to do what they wanted me to do. But I do want to mention my three children, who I love dearly, and my wife, Mary Ann, who has said on many occasions, when I said I was ready to quit, “Yeah? And then what?” [laughter/applause]
You know, when someone asked the great character, Sir Ralph Richardson, how he did what he did at age 83, and he replied, “I don’t know, I’m just getting the hang of it.” [laughter] And that’s how I feel, I’m just getting the hang of it. Now I no longer chase my dreams – raised my sights a little, maybe. But tonight thanks to all of you, I am living my dream. Thank you so much for this honor. [applause/standing ovation]
I think I better get off before they turn the lamps down – and there’ll be a lot of mischief going on. And me among them. [laughter] I’ll see you later. [applause/cheers]