Eddie Murphy is set to be honored with the Career Achievement Award at the Critics Association's Celebration of Black Cinema on Monday, Dec. 2. The achievement will be presented to him based on his work in Hollywood over the past several decades, leading up to his acclaimed role in the Netflix movie My Name Is Dolemite. "Murphy's performance helps shed light on an era when black artists were pioneering new-found ways to reach black audiences and tell their own stories," the Critics Association said in a statement. The organization adds, "He has continued to impress critics and audiences alike, all while blazing the trail for those who have come after him."
Three other big screen performers will be honored at the celebration alongside Murphy. This includes actress Nia Long, who will be recognized for her role as Eunice Garrett in the Apple TV movie The Banker. Filmmaker Kasi Lemmons will also be honored for directing the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, which tells the real-life story of a former slave who led hundreds of other escaped slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Finally, filmmaker Chiwetel Ejiofor will also be honored for his work as the director, screenwriter, and star of the Netflix original The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
In addition to more than a century's worth of Black Cinema, The Celebration of Black Cinema ceremony will also pay homage to late filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Credited as the first African American to make a feature-length movie in 1919 (The Homesteader), Micheaux also wrote, produced, and directed 44 films during the span of his movie career from 1919 until 1948. Creating both silent films and sound films upon the introduction of speaking actors in movies, Micheaux has been described as "the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the 20th century." Micheaux passed away in 1951, but his lasting legacy continues to live strong to this very day.
Murphy first came to prominence as a big screen movie actor in the early '80s, appearing in such classics as 48 Hrs. and Trading Places. The following decade saw him continue his reign in Hollywood as an A-lister by starring in a variety of '90s classics, including Boomerang, Harlem Nights, Vampire in Brooklyn, and the ever-popular comedy The Nutty Professor. Murphy would later go on to win a Golden Globe for his work in Dreamgirls and followed it up with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Little Miss Sunshine. His starring role in this year's Dolemite Is My Name! leads the wave of another resurgence of Murphy movies, as sequels to Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop are also on the way.
The Celebration of Black Cinema will take place on Monday, Dec. 2, at the new Landmark Annex in Los Angeles. Former president of the Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Cheryl Boon Isaacs will be hosting the event. Proceeds will benefit the UCLA Film & Television Archive and its commitment to the preservation of cinema. On the small screen, you can catch Murphy is his acclaimed role as Rudy Ray Moore in Dolomite Is My Name on Netflix. Regardless of the role, what's clear is that from the start of his career up to today, Murphy has always entertained. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.