Shirley MacLaine receives an AARP career honor on PBS

Showbiz icon receives special award during PBS program

Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine appreciates that she and the AARP became known around the same time.

That’s a big reason the entertainment legend is pleased to receive a Career Achievement honor at the organization’s 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards, which PBS televises as a ”Great Performances” offering Friday, Feb. 15 (check local listings). With Martin Short as host, the ceremony – taped earlier in the month in Beverly Hills, Calif. – fetes what AARP The Magazine, which technically stages the event, cites as films that reflect a “grownup state of mind.” Entries with multiple nominations include “A Star Is Born,” “Green Book” and “Roma.”

Having made marks in movies (with an Oscar win for “Terms of Endearment”), television, stage and books, the friendly MacLaine spoke for this article about her multifaceted show-business history.

Q: What was your reaction to being notified of your AARP honor?

A: Oh, I loved it! I’ve wanted to be queen of the AARP for some years. And I’m it for this year, maybe.

I’m very honored by it, I really am. It’s as much about my still walking upright as it is about what I’ve done.

Q: What is the significance of the AARP to you?

A: Well, we started at the same time (in the mid-to-late 1950s). I kind of figured that out, so I’ve been watching them and they’ve been watching me, because we’re simultaneously trying to evolve and survive.

Q: Have you achieved everything you’ve wanted to in your career?

A: Oh, I’ve forgotten the disappointments. I think that’s a wise thing to do. I’m doing a Disney film now (”Noelle”), about the first female Santa Claus. Anna Kendrick plays her, but I’m sort of the nanny in it.

I still love working. I love the crew, I love the environment, and I love pretending to be these characters. I am not a deep Robert De Niro or Daniel Day-Lewis kind of actor, and that’s why it was interesting for me to work with Meryl (Streep, in “Postcards from the Edge”). She adores that replacement of her consciousness. I never do that.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 2001 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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