Actor, producer, and director Laurence Fishburne has been named the 2007 Artist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation. Fishburne, the unanimous choice of the selection committee, will be awarded the foundation’s most prestigious medal at Harvard’s annual Cultural Rhythms ceremony on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) at Sanders Theatre.
“The students and faculty of Harvard are delighted to present the 2007 Artist of the Year award to the distinguished actor Laurence Fishburne,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “He is the consummate artist, a brilliant thinker, and a compassionate advocate for humanitarian causes.”
Fishburne has had an impressive career on both stage and screen. His recent film credits include critically acclaimed roles in “Mystic River,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and the “Matrix” trilogy. He earned an Emmy award for his role in the telefilm “Miss Evers’ Boys,” which he executive produced. Fishburne garnered a Tony award in 1992 for his performance in August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running,” and he also starred in the Broadway production of “The Lion in Winter.”
His humanitarian contributions include his service as a UNICEF ambassador. Fishburne has traveled to Africa on several occasions to educate youth on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
“Harvard is happy to welcome actor Laurence Fishburne to the University as the 2007 Artist of the Year,” said College Dean Benedict H. Gross. “His body of work as a stage and screen actor is commendable, and his efforts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and his advocacy for the welfare of children worldwide as a UNICEF ambassador are equally impressive.”
The Harvard Foundation, a center for intercultural arts and sciences initiatives, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year.
The Harvard Foundation’s Artist of the Year award bears the signatures of Harvard’s president, the dean of Harvard College, and the Harvard Foundation director. Previous Harvard Foundation awards have been presented to, among others, Sharon Stone, James Earl Jones, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Denzel Washington, and Salma Hayek.