Dustin Hoffman, Letterman to receive Kennedy Center Honors
September 12th, 2012
05:04 PM ET

Dustin Hoffman, Letterman to receive Kennedy Center Honors

This year's Kennedy Center Honors will recognize the achievements of seven artists across disciplines, from acting to comedy to dance.

Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova, and Led Zeppelin members John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will be honored this December for their "lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts," the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Wednesday.

"With their extraordinary talent, creativity and tenacity, the seven 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees have contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world," Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.

Bluesman Buddy Guy, Rubenstein said, "is a titan of the blues and has been a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century." Meanwhile, acting legend Hoffman has displayed an "unyielding commitment" while portraying a "wide variety of roles" has made him "one of the most versatile and iconoclastic actors of this or any other generation," Rubenstein added.

"David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities in the history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers with his unconventional wit and charm; Natalia Makarova's profound artistry has ignited the stages of the world's greatest ballet companies and continues to pass the torch to the next generation of dancers; and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands," he concluded.

The honorees will receive their Kennedy Center Honors medallions at a State Dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and then on December 2 they'll join the President and the First Lady for the annual gala.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle will receive the seven honorees, among others, at the White House before the festivities move to the Kennedy Center Opera House, where the group will be recognized with plenty of performances and tributes from their artistic peers.

Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Meh

    Only John Paul Jones need apply

    September 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sam f

    All shills for Obama of course they will get in.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. I want this cleaned up...

    do you understand me?

    September 17, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dish...

    see my dish at 10am...baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    September 17, 2012 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. seo tools

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    September 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chaka(i)

    they are great guys

    September 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mongoose Maelstrom

    This is a great group of honorees! I'm probably most excited to see Buddy Guy on here but all are very deserving.

    I'm surprised Hoffman hasn't already gotten it – he's a master. As for Letterman, talk show hosts today owe more to him than they do Johnny Carson. Johnny's the king and was certainly Dave's hero but Letterman redefined the format back in the 80s. And he's still funnier than any other host working today.

    I'm only sorry that Buddy Guy and Led Zeppelin won't be performing. Oh well, should be great.

    September 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Landline

    dave must just as amused as we are. johnny carson did receive and honor and well deserved..david letterman - gosh darn just give the honor to him for pete's sake. lol

    September 16, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kronos

    The first ten years of the Kennedy Center Honors were the years of worthy honorees who deserved to be recognized. Now that they were all honored, the Kennedy Center Honors are now picking just anybody whose achievements are less than half of these predecessors-because they have to pick 5 or 6 of them EVERY YEAR!!!

    September 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dutch2277

    The committee consulted with the Nobel Peace Prize committee and decided to award Letterman. What a joke, the guy hasn't been funny since Johnny Carson was alive.

    September 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Randi

    dave must be laughing is ass off about this!

    September 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Okay Okay...

    if you don't like boo you don't have to shout! lol

    September 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JVN

    To Boo,
    If you're an idiot, then you have a name like Boo.
    In the words of Gilbert Gotfried, "YOU FOOL!!!!"

    September 14, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. David LP

    David is still funny but the Kennedy Center Honors David Letterman? I could see him making fun of himself about this.
    One thing about David is he does not take himself seriously at all. lol

    September 14, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
    • traveljohn

      This whole "award" thing is a bunch of nonsense.. How much more ego-pumping empty recognition do these idiots need?

      September 14, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ironman666

      letterman who in the hell said he is funny he sucks and so dose his show and who in there right mine pick him honors are you crazy really is that the worest you can pick

      September 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ashlynn

    Seriously, who chose these people? Letterman!?? Not impressed by any of them.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kandi

      I couldn't agree with you more. David Letterman used to be funny, but has turned into nothing more than an angry old man.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Kiki

      Not impressed by Dustin Hoffman and Natalia Makarova? You're insipid.

      September 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela

      Maybe you don't find him funny, but he cracks my family up nightly. He's a riot if you get his sense of humor, which obviously you don't.

      September 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Al

    Letterman bashers need to grow a spine. Go watch Leno instead. I grew up on Letterman...he's a survivor.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Brian Mouland

    Hopefully this award is a hint to leave. Liked you Dave but you have been on a way too long

    September 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Claire Betsy Kowit

    Letterman has been a wonderful and talented entertainer for many years.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kandi

      You need to get out more. Letterman hasn't been funny in years.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  19. BostonSteve

    Letterman? Are you kidding me? What a joke these awards are.

    September 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Led Zepplin?

    damaged goods

    September 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  21. Mojo

    Houses of the Holy

    September 13, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  22. Rolling Stone

    L E D Z E P P E L I N

    Jimmy Page – Robert Plant – John Paul Jones – John Bonham

    September 13, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  23. X-Factor

    glad for dustin .. he has never really been honored, he has done some great acting. david letterman has been around for a long time..a life time achievement award for him...whatever...lolol

    September 13, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  24. Led Zeppelin


    September 13, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  25. Jeff

    Elton John also has a Kennedy Honor.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  26. Davie

    same ...

    September 13, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  27. Agriff

    Hey Stupid Yanks-The Led Zeppelin members are British. Only Americans can be Democrat or Republican and like most people on this planet they don't care about Yankee politcs. Get your heads out of the sand or wherever you stuck it. Not everything is politics. Grow up and do some fancy book learnin'.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      Hey m o r o n...Paul McCartney received this honor last year. Led Zeppelin won't be the first British citizens to get this award. Either talk about something you know something about or shut up.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Booo

      He never said Zepplin was the first. Read honey! And get off my name, I was posting – albeit not frequently – before you.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  28. JVN

    If you are an Obama supporter, then you get the award. Oprah, Springsteen, and now Letterman. Why not Leno or Clint ? I llok forward to the program every year but the choices clearly are influenced by politics. Maybe next year, everyone at MSNBC will get an award.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Clint Eastwood already received the honor...in 2000. So that would be why he didn't get picked AGAIN this year. Jay Leno has about 2 decades less time in the field.

      Don't politicize bloody everything.

      Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...

      September 13, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      And if you're an idiot, you make a comment like yours. THIS HONOR IS NOT POLITICAL.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  29. AGrey

    I don't honor David Letterman. There is a man far more deserving; a man who is a far better person, who has done far more for other human beings, and his name is Richard Simmons. I have a thousand times more respect for Richard Simmons than I do for David Letterman and I'm glad Mr. Simmons has finally chosen to shun David Letterman's show.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
    • mrkeno

      wasnt simmons who shunned letterman
      dave had had enough
      helping people lose weight great but he is just a little to sweet for my taste(actually way to sweet)

      September 13, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  30. Slurpitup

    Dustine needs alot of exposure.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:14 am | Report abuse |
  31. Hollywood

    Congratulations to two fabulously talented men. Each one should be acknowledged for his own unique style.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam Nations

      Davel Letterman committed adultery with people who worked for him, then made jokes about it when he was exposed for it. Some talent. Some accomplishment. Imagine how a conservative host would have been treated for the same stunt.

      September 13, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      Sam Nations – so I guess you're a perfect, flawless human being. Letterman is being honored for his show....NOT FOR HIS PERSONAL LIFE. Grow up!

      September 13, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • NoValues

      It's nice to see people like Boo – who are apparently void of any decency and integrity – mock anyone who points out lack of morals or values in celebrities. It shows how you and Dave and others who have no use for decent morality – all live in the same world. Ooooh, he's famous, so he's great. Really pathetic. But I'll expect another defensive rant from you now.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • @sam

      Well, old Newt had several affairs, and you conservatives wanted him to be president. You didn't throw that trash out, did you? How about Rush & his many marriages. Spouting his continual hate all the time, but you all got him on a pedestal, don't you? Why do you have to drag politics into everything? This is an honor that is bestowed on people of all political persuasions. Grow the heck up!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • KED

      The problem with Sam Nations reply is not his take on Letterman's affairs, but simply how incorrect the statement is. Yes he had affairs. Clearly you didn't see the episode where he went public with it. It was anything but an attempt at humor. If there's anything about Letterman that doesn't get enough publicity it is his sincerity, whether in discussing this matter, his health and respect for his physicians, or discussing the passing of his dear friends (Carson, Zevon, etc). Any jokes he has ever made in reference to the affairs since are self-deprecating stabs at his own mistakes, no slights at anyone else involved.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. dnc

    David Letterman and Dustin Hoffman are liberal Democrats..... No surprises here...

    September 13, 2012 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
    • RD

      Who cares. Let's see you accomplish what these guys have. You people have to label everything.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      The reason these two men are democrats is that Republicans generally are not interested in the arts. One usually doesn't make a good living in the arts, and even then it is difficult and there is no job security. Comedy specifically is about bursting the bubble of pretentiousness of those who think they are powerful, so naturally it is generally a Democrat becoming a comedian with the big, fat, full-of-themselves Republicans as targets.

      September 13, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      It's a small wonder conservatives have to politicize this – they specialize in idiotic whining. It's "achievement in the arts" that is being recognized – for folks who have had a long career entertaining others. Pretty straightforward. If you honestly believe that there's a conspiracy here, you aren't bright enough to make a meaningful post. Pull your head out.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian Mouland

      Yes and stupid pet tricks and Larry Bud Mellman were high achievements in high art

      September 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  33. yurlipsrmuvn

    What has Letterman offered except more and more bashing of conservative politics?

    September 13, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Typical Teabaggin Nonsense

      What have you done but whine, complain and play the victim.

      September 13, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian Mouland

      True his show has become muc more politicial guess that happens when the hipster isnt that hip anymore

      September 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  34. manghirmalani


    September 13, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |

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