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Julia Roberts To Receive American Cinematheque Prize


Thursday, August 2----------The American Cinematheque, the Los Angeles-based not-for-profit organization that  owns and operates two area theaters that show classic, experimental and non-mainstream films and videos (the art-deco Egyptian in Hollywood and the Aero in Santa Monica) has announced that Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts will receive the 22nd annual American Cinematheque Award this year. The award will be presented at a gala ceremony on October 12th in Beverly Hills, and will be broadcast on cable network American Movie Classics in December.

The organization's selection committee unanimously chose Roberts for the award, in recognition of her ground-breaking career and her status as one of Hollywood's biggest names for the past two decades.  "Julia Roberts is a true movie star who has delighted audiences and critics in so many pictures," Board Chairman Rick Nicita said. Roberts was at last year's ceremonies, where she presented the same Award to her OCEAN'S 11 co-star George Clooney. In years past, the prestigious prize has gone to such Hollywood giants as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Julia Fiona Roberts, born in Smyrna, Georgia, never dreamed she would become the most popular actress in America. As a child, she longed to be a veterinarian. When her brother Eric Roberts achieved some success in Hollywood, Julia decided to try acting. Her first break came in 1988 when she appeared in two youth-oriented movies, MYSTIC PIZZA and SATISFACTION. However her real breakthrough came in an Oscar-nominated supporting role in the film adaptation of STEEL MAGNOLIAS. From there, her fame was secured in her role as the Hollywood hooker with a heart of gold in PRETTY WOMAN, for which she recieved her first Oscar nomination as Best Actress. She finally won the prize in 2001 as the working class mother who crusades against corporate corruption in ERIN BROKOVICH. Although she has taken the last few years off to raise her family and has moved out of Los Angeles to a ranch in New Mexico, she remains Hollywood's highest paid actress and an instantly recognizable international superstar. 

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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