Mark Twain Prize for Murray

Actor Bill Murray Obituary (right) will be the 19th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize.
Actor Bill Murray Obituary (right) will be the 19th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • It is not easy to forecast where Bill Murray might turn up next: maybe a new Wes Anderson movie, a Netflix Christmas special, a karaoke bar or a kickball game.

But it can be more safely said that this unpredictable comic actor will appear at the Kennedy Center in Washington on Oct 23, when he is presented with its annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The actor, who parlayed his years on Saturday Night Live into a film career that includes Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), Groundhog Day (1993), Rushmore (1998) and Lost In Translation (2003), will be the 19th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize, the Kennedy Center announced on Monday.

In a statement, Ms Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center, said Murray was being celebrated for work that has gratified audiences "with unforgettable performances from an eclectic cast of characters that have become ingrained in our cultural vernacular".

She added: "An award-winning writer, actor and comedian, his brilliant wit and infectious spirit continue to inspire our laughter across generations both on and off the screen.

"His unique brand of humour seems to defy time itself - always remaining relevant and relatable to new audiences - much like our award's namesake."

Murray said in a statement: "I'm honoured by this award and by its timing. I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won't disturb his peace."

The Kennedy Center said the ceremony where he will receive the award (which includes a bust of Mark Twain) will be broadcast at a later date.

Past winners of the prize have included Eddie Murphy, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'Mark Twain Prize for Murray'. Subscribe