In announcing the honorees Wednesday, Kennedy Center Chairman James A. Johnson noted "the unique and extremely valuable contributions they have made to the cultural life of our nation."
- Andrews was described by Johnson as "a beloved actress whose performances in films and the musical theater are treasured by millions of Americans." She starred in "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot" on Broadway and won an Academy Award for the title role in "Mary Poppins." Her most recent film is "The Princess Diaries."
- Pavarotti, "a singer whose unique voice has attracted new fans to opera in the United States and throughout the world," first gained fame in 1961 in "La Boheme." He has since performed thousands of times in operas and solo concerts, and as part of The Three Tenors with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.
- Quincy Jones, cited for his "spectacular influence on all facets of American popular music for more than 50 years," has been a composer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, record company executive, magazine founder and record, film and television producer. Among the recordings Jones produced are "We Are the World" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album.
- Jack Nicholson, described as "one of the most brilliant and celebrated actors of our age," won Academy Awards for his performances in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Terms of Endearment" and "As Good As It Gets." His most recent film in "The Pledge."
- Van Cliburn, "a pianist whose stellar career bears witness to the life-affirming power of music," won the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958. The first musician ever honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City, he went on to found the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
The Kennedy Center will celebrate its own 30th anniversary Sunday with an afternoon of fireworks, a giant birthday cake and performances by a variety of groups, including the National Symphony Orchestra.
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