"Fiddler" director Jewison honored with career award

Tue Dec 1, 2009 8:20pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Directors Guild of America on Tuesday named "Fiddler on the Roof" director Norman Jewison the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award to be given at a gala dinner and ceremony in January.

Jewison, a 83-year-old Canadian who has three Academy Award nominations for directing, joins 32 past recipients of the honor from the influential industry organization, including Frank Capra and Alfred Hitchcock.

"He is an incredible filmmaker whose calm, affable manner belies a ferocious creative fire within," DGA President Taylor Hackford said in a statement. "Norman well deserves to stand among the giants of cinema whom we have honored in the past".

Jewison's films have tackled racism, corruption and falling in love, such as "Fiddler on the Roof," a 1971 musical about Jews in pre-revolutionary Russia and 1984's "A Soldier's Story", which earned one of three DGA nominations he received.

"Soldier's Story" also helped boost then up-and-coming actor Denzel Washington, who played a supporting role, to Hollywood's "A-list" of most sought-after performers.

Jewison once worked as an stage actor in Canada and began his directing career at CBC Television. He moved to New York in the 1950s and went on to direct television programs such as "Your Hit Parade" and "The Andy Williams Show".

Jewison directed his first film, "Forty Pounds of Trouble" in 1962, and he last showed off his skills behind the camera in "The Statement", a 2003 film starring Michael Caine about the pursuit of a Nazi war criminal.

(Reporting by Corinne Heller; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)