Morgan Freeman being honored here by Siskel Center

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Morgan Freeman in one of his many popular roles — as God in “Bruce Almighty.”

Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman will receive the Renaissance Award annually presented by the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — a salute to the acclaimed actor’s long career.

The Saturday, June 7 gala at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago Hotel will celebrate Freeman’s achievements both in front of and behind the camera, plus provide the evening’s guests with a candid conversation, as the Oscar winner reminisces about his favorite performances, key influences and some of the most important experiences in his life.

“Morgan Freeman is a true living legend,” said Jean de St. Aubin, executive director of the Center, in a statement released Thursday. “In a film career that spans more than four decades and an incredibly diverse canon of roles, audiences have come to expect that Mr. Freeman will deliver performances that are insightful, moving and always memorable.”

Among Freeman’s more memorable roles are his Oscar-winning star turn in “Million Dollar Baby,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Glory,” “Seven,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Unforgiven.” His distinctive voice is frequently featured as the narrator for films and TV programs — perhaps most notably in “March of the Penguins.”

Co-chairs of the June 7 Freeman fete will be longtime Center supporters and Advisory Board members Eda Davidman and Melissa Sage Fadim.

Previous honorees of the Renaissance Award — which, like the Oscar, is made by Chicago’s R.S. Owens & Company — have included Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey, Jr., George Lucas, Nicole Kidman, Bob Balaban, John Woo, Michael Mann, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman.

For more information call (312) 846-2072.

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