The Kennedy Center announced that Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be the recipient of the 2018 Mark Twain Prize for Humor. The actress will be the sixth female recipient of the award, following in the footsteps of greats like Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Lily Tomlin. The 21st annual awards presentation is set for October at the Kennedy Center and will then be followed by a broadcast on PBS.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus earned worldwide acclaim for her portrayal of Elaine Benes in the hit NBC series “Seinfeld,” and as Christine Campbell in the CBS hit comedy “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” She currently stars in, and executive produces, the HBO series “Veep,” which will soon begin its seventh season.
Between all shows combined, she has received eleven Emmy awards (six consecutively for “Veep”) with twenty-four nominations, a Golden Globe award, nine Screen Actors Guild awards which makes her the most decorated actor in the history of the SAG awards, three Television Critics Association awards, five American Comedy Awards, a Peabody Award, and the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy. She has broken the record for the most Emmy’s won by a single performer, as well as the most consecutive wins for a single role (“Veep”).
Louis-Dreyfus had some fun with her response to the announcement according to the New York Times, making sure Mark Twain continued to get his share of the spotlight:
“Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying”
The actress has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer since late 2017, delaying the premiere of the final season of Veep until 2019 while she recovered. But with her final round of treatments and this announcement, things seem very positive. And if she wants Twain, The Kennedy Center could always bring back Alec Baldwin to play Samuel Clemens. He did the job when Tina Fey received the award and could always take some time away from playing Donald Trump.