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Kennedy Center Honors Likes Sally Field and Linda Rondstadt.

by Nathaniel R

Right now we... no, always, we really like her. So to does the Kennedy Center Honors, which has selected the two-time Oscar winner and three-time Emmy winner as one of their five recipients of the prestigious honor for contribution to the American arts. In addition to Sally Field, this year's star-studded December gala will honor the R&B band Earth Wind & Fire, the program Sesame Street, the conductor/composer Michael Tilson Thomas, and singer Linda Rondstadt (who is having a very big year because an Oscar-hopeful doc about her The Sound of My Voice is also revving up for release). We tend to forget who the Kennedy Center has honored and who they haven't yet, so after the jump a list of all famous actors or director recipients to date...

Actors & Directors
(though some of the actors listed were honored more for their music if they were crossovers) 
+ = honored as a pair

  • 1978 Fred Astaire
  • 1979 Henry Fonda
  • 1980 James Cagney
  • 1981 Cary Grant, Helen Hayes
  • 1982 Lillian Gish,  Gene Kelly
  • 1983 Elia Kazan, Frank Sinatra, and James Stewart
  • 1984 Danny Kaye
  • 1985 Irene Dunne, Bob Hope
  • 1986 Lucille Ball, Hume Cronyn + Jessica Tandy
  • 1987 Bette Davis, Sammy Davis Jr.
  • 1988 George Burns, Myrna Loy
  • 1989 Harry Belafonte, Claudette Colbert
  • 1990 Katharine Hepburn,Billy Wilder
  • 1991 Gregory Peck
  • 1992 Paul Newman + Joanne Woodward, Ginger Rogers
  • 1994 Kirk Douglas
  • 1995 Sidney Poitier
  • 1996 Jack Lemmon
  • 1997 Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston
  • 1998 Shirley Temple Black
  • 1999 Sean Connery, Jason Robards
  • 2000 Clint Eastwood, Angela Lansbury
  • 2001 Julie Andrews, Jack Nicholson
  • 2002 James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Taylor
  • 2003 Carol Burnett, Mike Nichols
  • 2004 Warren Beatty, Ossie Davis + Ruby Dee
  • 2005 Julie Harris, Robert Redford
  • 2006 Dolly Parton, Steven Spielberg
  • 2007 Steve Martin, Diana Ross, Martin Scorsese
  • 2008 Morgan Freeman, Barbra Streisand
  • 2009 Mel Brooks, Robert DeNiro
  • 2010 Oprah Winfrey
  • 2011 Meryl Streep
  • 2012 Dustin Hoffman
  • 2013 Shirley Maclaine
  • 2014 Tom Hanks, Sting, and Lily Tomlin
  • 2015 George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson
  • 2016 Al Pacino
  • 2017 LL Cool J
  • 2018 Cher, Reba McEntire
  • 2019 Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt

Doris Day famously turned down their offer. Mel Brooks and Katharine Hepburn both refused the first offer but accepted the second. The Trumps are the first presidential couple to skip the ceremony. To quote Chicago composers Kander & Ebb, also honored by the Kennedy Center, 'whatever happened to class?'

MAY WE SUGGEST? Some people that are the right age for this that they should maybe consider: Bernadette Peters, Harvey Fierstein, Liza Minnelli, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Stockard Channing, Kathleen Turner, Ann Reinking, and Sigourney Weaver.

And may we prematurely suggest Michelle Pfeiffer, B.D. Wong, Audra McDonald, Cherry Jones, Viola Davis, Holly Hunter, Laura Dern, Brad Pitt, and Angela Bassett for the 2028-2040 ceremonies when they're closer to the typical age range of honorees? 



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Reader Comments (25)

Madonna should receive one immediately since LL Cool J is too damn young for the honor and Prince and Michael Jackson are deceased.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

God bless Sally and Linda.

We can all rest assured the Trumps will stay home from an evening celebrating those two.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I remember reading a theatre review several years ago of a play with Sally Field, where the reviewer went in thinking “oh yeah, Sally Field, whatever” and came out writing “Sally Field is one of the great American actresses. How can we not have recognized this?”

Glad to see her recognized and validated (again).

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

What great choices with Sally and Linda. Why can’t Barron be invited to this event so he can meet artists, say a few words and transition to a decent young man?

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFaye

adri -- i was gobsmacked when I saw her on stage in THE GOAT. I've always loved her as an actor but I still didn't know she had that in her.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Bette Midler is long overdue for this honor. Movies, stage, singing, comedy.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz


July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

LL Cool J w/ his mediocre rhymes and steroid-drenched body got honors and not Lou Reed?

Fuck you!

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

LL Cool J ? Seriously ??!! Maybe i missed something because i'm french and, for us here, he's just the funny guy in Deep Blue Sea and Halloween H20, and also the guy from the NCIS franchise ...

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterclement_paris

Clement -- before that he was a rapper of some reknown.

July 20, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

LL Cool J, 51, sticks out like a sore cock. Is he even Rock & Roll Hall of Fame material? (I do generally enjoy his rap music, Going Back to Cali and I’m Bad in particular.)

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Bette Midler!!

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

The Kennedy Center Honors wanted to acknowledge the hip hop genre in the 2010s. They choose LL when they should have done either Public Enemy or Queen Latifah.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Have never thought Sally Field was a good actress.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Is Jane Fonda still considered anti-American or something? I cannot explain why she doesn't have the Cecil B. DeMille or this one.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

That's wonderful that both Sally Field and Linda Ronstadt are being honored!

It's a shame though that Linda won't be able to attend. At least from she what said in the last interview I saw with her earlier this year where she stated that she isn't able to sit up for any extended period let alone stand that would seem to be the case. Perhaps something can be worked out but it sounds doubtful.

July 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

As much as I’d love Turner, Channing, and Weaver to get this honor, how on Earth has Bernadette Peters not gotten this? That’s crazy to me.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

I am really pleased for both Sally Fields and Linda Ronstadt, both are great choices. It's a shame about Ronstadt's health problems. She had hit albums in a variety of genres, and even did Pirates of Penzance in New York. A truly great voice.
Past time that Emmy Lou Harris was honoured. Ditto Jane Fonda, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Sally Field is a good, competent actress. Julia Roberts-Sandra Bullock level. Her two Academy Awards were a goodwill gesture from AMPAS.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMelchiades

Earth, Wind & Fire over George Clinton?!?!?

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s

Stevie Nicks, Sissy Spacek and Jessica Lange should be honored as well. All at the right age.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Joni Mitchell

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRosa Moline

To go through life without appreciating Sally Field is a waste and a perfect litmus test of a person's taste level, or in this case lack therof.

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterThe T

I am so happy for Sally. But I’m over the moon for Linda, who I consider to be one of the greatest vocalists who ever walked the earth. I so hope there is a way she can attend this wonderful tribute.

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFr

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