Spike Lee to honor Denzel Washington with American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

Credit: Mark Avery

Credit: Mark Avery

Denzel Washington is the latest actor to be honored with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.

The Associated Press reported that the Oscar-winning actor will be presented with the honor by Spike Lee, whom he's collaborated with in four films, including 1990's "Mo Betta Blues," 1992's "Malcolm X" and 1993's "He Got Game."

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The American Film Institute initially announced the Life Achievement Award tribute to Washington in a May 20 news release.

"Denzel Washington is a hero to audiences all over the world and an inspiration for artists across generations," Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, said in a statement. "Prepare for an extraordinary night as AFI brings together American film's finest to raise a glass to a national treasure."

Chadwick Boseman, Cicely Tyson, Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Foster, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Issa Rae, Mahershala Ali and Julia Roberts will be in attendance at the June 6 event to pay tribute to the celebrated actor.

Related: ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman reveals Denzel Washington paid for him to study at Oxford

Many of the stars honoring Washington have worked with him before: Tyson starred with the actor in the 1977 TV movie “Wilma.” Foster and Washington starred in Lee’s 2006 film “Inside Man.” Roberts and Washington were co-stars in 1993’s “The Pelican Brief.” Freeman starred with Washington in 1989’s “Glory.”

Boseman's history with Washington goes back to the "Black Panther" star's time at Howard. Last year, Boseman spoke about Washington being a secret benefactor who paid for him to study abroad at Oxford University. Jordan, Boseman's "Black Panther" co-star, will be directed by Washington in the upcoming "Journal for Jordan."

Washington's AFI honor puts him in the company of Mel Brooks, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Alfred Hitchcock, the AP reported.

The “AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute To Denzel Washington” will air June 20 at 10 p.m. on TNT.

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