Date: June 18, 1998

Contact: Margot Gerber

Tel: (213) 466-3456, ext. 115






HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque Award will be presented to Arnold Schwarzenegger at the annual gala, The Moving Picture Ball, Siguron "Joni" Sighvatsson, Cinematheque Board President and executive producer of the event announced today at the renovation site of the organization’s Egyptian Theatre.

"The American Cinematheque salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger’s enduring career as one of the world’s best loved film personalities in some of America’s most famous films," said Sighvatsson. "His keen determination and pursuit of excellence have brought him a broad range of career successes in film acting, directing and writing and we are looking forward to a wonderful evening honoring an extraordinary artist."

Schwarzenegger was the unanimous choice of the Cinematheque Board of Director’s selection committee, which has, since 1986, annually honored an extraordinary artist (actor, producer, director or writer) in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of film and video.

Since Schwarzenegger first emerged as a major star in James Cameron’s THE TERMINATOR (1984), he has become a driving force behind the success of such all-time blockbusters as TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991); TWINS (1988); KINDERGARTEN COP (1990); TOTAL RECALL (1990); TRUE LIES (1994); ERASER (1996); and as Mr. Freeze in Joel Schumacher’s BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997).

Schwarzenegger’s motion picture career began in 1977 with his role in the critically acclaimed PUMPING IRON, a feature-length documentary about the Mr. Universe competition, which revealed his engaging natural presence before the camera. Director Bob Rafelson immediately cast him in a key role opposite Sally Field and Jeff Bridges in STAY HUNGRY, a performance which garnered winning reviews and a Golden Globe Award for "Best Newcomer in Films." In 1978 Schwarzenegger put aside his mantle as Mr. Universe to pursue acting full-time.

Schwarzenegger’s breakthrough role was in John Millius’ 1982 film CONAN THE BARBARIAN,

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based on the comic book super-hero of the mystical Dark Ages. The film grossed over $100 million worldwide and spawned the popular sequel, CONAN THE DESTROYER. The series earned Schwarzenegger a devoted following.

In 1983, soon after becoming a naturalized citizen, the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger took a chance on a low-budget independent film by a then unknown director – James Cameron. The film was the futuristic thriller THE TERMINATOR which was a runaway box office hit and was cited by Time magazine as "one of the year’s ten best films."

The success of THE TERMINATOR placed Schwarzenegger at the front rank of Hollywood stars. Over the next few years his name became virtually synonymous with the phrase "action-hero." He went on to make the crowd-pleasers: COMMANDO (1985); RAW DEAL (1986); PREDATOR (1987); THE RUNNNG MAN (1987); and RED HEAT (1988) among others.

In 1988, Schwarzenegger successfully crossed over into comedy with the popular Ivan Reitman film TWINS where he played opposite Danny DeVito – as his twin brother! DeVito, Reitman and Schwarzenegger teamed up again in 1995 for JUNIOR. Schwarzenegger’s JUNIOR performance garnered him a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Actor in A Comedy." Schwarzenegger starred in the 1996 Christmas comedy JINGLE ALL THE WAY for director Brian Levant.

Schwarzenegger’s greatest commercial success to date has been TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, which has earned more than $506 million worldwide. The National Association of Theater Owners invented a new award to present to him at the Sho West convention in February 1993: "International Star of the Decade." The following summer came THE LAST ACTION HERO which grossed $168 million worldwide.

Schwarzenegger has been active behind the scenes of movie making since 1990 when he made his directorial debut on "The Switch," an episode of the popular HBO series "Tales From the Crypt." He also directed a remake of the holiday classic "Christmas in Connecticut" for Turner Network Television, starring Dyan Cannon, Kris Kristofferson and Tony Curtis.

Eddie Murphy received the first American Cinematheque Award in 1986, followed by Better Midler in 1987. Robin Williams was honored in 1988; Steven Speilberg in 1989; Ron Howard in 1990; Martin Scorsese in 1991; Sean Connery in 1992; Michael Douglas in 1994; Mel Gibson in 1995; and Tom Cruise in 1996. John Travolta was last year’s honoree.

Twelve hundred entertainment industry notables are expected to attend the Moving Picture Ball, which will be held on Sunday, October 18, 1998 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s International Ballroom. This annual event is the American Cinematheque’s largest benefit, providing funds for the programs and operation of the non-profit film exhibition organization throughout the year.

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Tickets to the Moving Picture Ball, an elegant black-tie dinner followed by a multi-media award show with tributes to the honoree by friends and colleagues, may be purchased by calling Debra Molnar at 818.222.1506.

Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which ranges from the classics and the world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at the Charlie Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Exhibition of rare works, special prints within our series, and fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work are a Cinematheque tradition that keep the avid film lover coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences.

The American Cinematheque is currently renovating the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. When complete in December of 1998, the Egyptian Theater will become the Cinematheque’s permanent home and will offer daily programming year round. The Grand Opening will take place on December 4, 1998 with a vintage premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923, silent version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, accompanied by a live score. This event will take place 75 years to the day from the original premiere of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS at the Egyptian theater.


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