LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine was honored with the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award on T hursday night for roles in movies including “Terms of Endearment,” “Steel Magnolias” and “Postcards from the Edge.”
MacLaine, well-known for her belief in life after death, spoke seriously about the roles of women in movies, and was gently teased about her thoughts on previous lives by co-stars such as Jack Nicholson and Carrie Fisher at the gala dinner on the movie studio lot of Sony Pictures.
She even made light of her ideas, telling the audience of A-list stars to relax and enjoy themselves during this life “because if we don’t do it now, we’ll do it next time around.”
MacLaine added: “If you enter my life, you’ll never get out, even when you die.”
The evening featured film clips highlighting MacLaine’s movies such as “The Apartment,” “Sweet Charity,” and “The Turning Point” and speeches from MacLaine’s fellow stars.
The Los Angeles-based American Film Institute, or AFI, is a leading education and preservation group in the United States. Past AFI lifetime honorees have included Nicholson, Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman and MacLaine’s brother Warren Beatty, all of whom were there.
Beatty said he was pleased to honor “a person I have known, a person whom I have loved my whole life” while Fisher called MacLaine “some future person’s past life.”
Streep, who co-starred with MacLaine in “Postcards From the Edge,” presented the award to the actress.