WASHINGTON, June 14 — Actor and comedian Bill Murray has been chosen to receive the 19th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humour by the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts.
Murray, the star of such movies as Groundhog Day and Rushmore, will be awarded the prize named for the great 19th century US novelist and satirist on October 23, the Kennedy Centre said in a statement yesterday.
"An award-winning writer, actor and comedian, his brilliant wit and infectious spirit continue to inspire our laughter across generations both on and off the screen," said Kennedy Centre President Deborah Rutter.
Murray, 65, is among the best-known stars to emerge from NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He performed on the ground-breaking television comedy show from 1977 to 1980 and honed his skills portraying insincere and lovably smarmy characters.
He portrayed a dim-witted groundskeeper in Caddyshack, was a paranormal investigator in Ghostbusters and stood out as a mobster in Mad Dog and Glory.
Murray was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a jet-lagged movie star in Lost in Translation. He has won two Emmy Awards.
In a statement, Murray said he was honoured to receive the award.
"I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace," he said.
Previous Mark Twain Prize honourees include Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Neil Simon, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno and Eddie Murphy, the 2015 winner.
The award ceremony will be recorded for television broadcast. — Reuters