Film and politics mix at Warren Beatty tribute

Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:43am EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The American Film Institute gave Warren Beatty its annual lifetime achievement award on Thursday, celebrating a roughly 50-year career in which the actor has won an Oscar and played active role in U.S. politics.

Beatty, 71, began his career on television, graduated to feature films and saw his breakthrough as lead actor and producer of 1967 gangster film "Bonnie and Clyde," widely seen as a milestone in the history of American movies.

He also has long been a champion of liberal politics and when accepting the AFI lifetime honor, he noted "I'm still a liberal when it's coming back in style."

Stars such as Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton and Beatty's wife, Annette Bening, turned out for the ceremony, as did former U.S. Senator George McGovern, for whom Beatty once campaigned, as well as ex-president Bill Clinton.

The Los Angeles-based American Film Institute is one of the movie industry's leading groups dedicated to film preservation and restoration.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

 
<p>Actor Warren Beatty arrives at the taping of the American Film Institute's 36th Life Achievement Award gala honoring Beatty at the Kodak theatre in Hollywood, California June 12, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>