Another glittering class of stars feted for arts careers
For the past 30 years, trustees of the Kennedy Center in Washington have selected a handful of individuals to be honored annually for their lifetime contributions in various artistic disciplines. Last Sunday night, the honorees seated in the presidential box included three musicians, a filmmaker, and a comedian. They were nominated by members of a national artists committee and past honorees, performing giants in their own right, such as Dave Brubeck, Helen Mirren, Bill Cosby, and Steven Spielberg. The 2007 honorees, whose TV tribute will be broadcast on CBS Dec. 26:
Steve Martin: Comedian starred on the "Saturday Night Live!" series and later in such movies as "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid"
Leon Fleisher: Pianist who made his Carnegie Hall debut at 16; gravitated to teaching and conducting after losing the use of his right hand in 1965
Diana Ross: Lead singer of The Supremes before embarking on a solo career; Billboard magazine's "entertainer of the century"
Brian Wilson: Singer/composer and cofounder of the Beach Boys; wrote such hit songs as "Good Vibrations" and "Surfer Girl"
Martin Scorsese: Director of "The Departed," which won him an Academy Award this year, plus the box-office hits "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull"