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Stage and Screen

Kennedy Center Honors Recipients

The Kennedy Center Honors were devised in 1978 to honor Americans who have made exceptional lifetime contributions to the arts.

  • Irene Dunne (born 1898, died 1990)

    American actress.

    • 1985 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Lucille Ball (born 1911, died 1989)

    American actress and comedian.

    • 1986 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Lynn Fontanne (born 1887, died 1983)

    English-born American actress.

    • 1980 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Marian Anderson (born 1902, died 1993)

    American singer. First African-American member of the Metropolitan Opera Company (1955). Performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.

    • 1978 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Lena Horne (born 1917)

    American singer and actress.

    • 1984 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Agnes George DeMille (born 1905, died 1993)

    American choreographer of both ballet and musical theatre.

    • 1980 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Lillian Gish (born 1896, died 1995)

    American actress whose stage and screen career spanned 75 years. Sister of actress Dorothy Gish.

    • 1982 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Beverly Sills (born 1929)

    American opera singer. Original name: Belle Silverman.

    • 1985 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Jessica Tandy (born 1909, died 1994)

    American actress.

    • 1986 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Myrna Loy (born 1905, died 1993)

    American actress.

    • 1988 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Alexandra Danilova (born 1904, died 1997)

    Russian ballet dancer.

    • 1989 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Mary Martin (born 1913, died 1990)

    American singer and actress.

    • 1989 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Betty Comden (born 1919)

    American writer. With Adolph Green, created many famous musical comedies, including Singin' in the Rain.

    • 1991 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Marion Williams (born 1927, died 1994)

    American gospel singer.

    • 1993 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Marilyn Horne (born 1934)

    American opera singer.

    • 1995 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Elia Kazan (born 1909)

    Turkish-born American writer, director and producer.

    • 1983 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Bette Davis (born 1908, died 1989)

    American actress.

    • 1987 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Lauren Bacall (born 1924)

    American actress. Original name: Betty Joan Perske.

    • 1997 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Claudette Colbert (born 1903, died 1996)

    French actress. Original name: Lily Chauchoin.

    • 1989 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Shirley Temple Black (born 1928)

    American actress and diplomat.

    • 1998 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Helen Hayes (born 1900, died 1993)

    American actress.

    • 1981 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Aretha Franklin (born 1942)

    American rock, blues and gospel singer.

    • 1994 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Maria Tallchief (born 1925)

    American ballet dancer.

    • 1996 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Leontyne Price (born 1927)

    American opera singer.

    • 1980 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Joanne Woodward (born 1930)

    American actress and director.

    • 1992 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Ella Fitzgerald (born 1918, died 1996)

    American jazz singer.

    • 1979 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Martha Graham (born 1894, died 1991)

    American dancer and choreographer.

    • 1979 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Katherine Dunham (born 1912)

    American dancer and choreographer. First American to organize a professional black dance troupe.

    • 1983 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Ginger Rogers (born 1911, died 1995)

    American actress and dancer. Original name: Virginia McMath.

    • 1992 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Angela Lansbury (born 1925)

    British-American actress.

    • 2000 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Katharine Hepburn (born 1907)

    American actress.

    • 1990 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Jessye Norman (born 1945)

    American opera singer.

    • 1997 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
  • Judith Jamison (born 1943)

    African-American dancer, choreographer, and teacher

    • 1999 Kennedy Center Honors recipient

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