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Steve Martin The Kennedy Center Presents: The 2005 Mark Twain Prize celebrating Steve Martin
Steve Martin
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Recipient Steve Martin
All-Star Cast
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The All-Star Cast


Steve Martin was joined by an all-star cast of actors, performers and musicians. Please check back for video of the performances.

Dave Barry

Claire Danes

Larry David

Tom Hanks

Eric Idle

Diane Keaton

Queen Latifah

Lorne Michaels

Randy Newman

Mike Nichols

Carl Reiner

Martin Short

Lily Tomlin

Dave Barry
Dave Barry
Photo: Scott Suchman

Dave Barry is a humor columnist for the Miami Herald. His column appears in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Dave has also written a total of 22 books, two of which were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom "Dave's World," in which Harry Anderson played a much taller version of Dave. Dave plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, who are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud.

Dave has also made many TV appearances, including one on the David Letterman show where he proved that it is possible to set fire to a pair of men's underpants with a Barbie doll. In his spare time, Dave is a candidate for president of the United States. If elected, his highest priority will be to seek the death penalty for whoever is responsible for making Americans install low-flow toilets.

Dave lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Michelle, a sportswriter. He has a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sophie, neither of whom thinks he's funny.

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Claire Danes
Claire Danes
Photo courtesy Claire Danes

A remarkable actress who has a grace and poise beyond her years, Claire Danes has established herself as one of Hollywood's leading actresses. Danes will next star in Anand Tucker's "Shopgirl" opposite Steve Martin and Jason Schwartzman. Danes will also star in Thomas Bezucha's romantic comedy "The Family Stone," and will begin production on Andrew Lau's first American film, "The Flock" opposite Richard Gere.

Most recently, Danes starred in Richard Eyre's acclaimed drama, "Stage Beauty" opposite Billy Crudup. Other film credits include: "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," "Igby Goes Down," "The Hours," "Little Women," "William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet," "Brokedown Palace," "Les Miserable," "The Polish Wedding," "The Rainmaker," "U Turn," "To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday," "How to Make an American Quilt," "I Love You, I Love You Not" and "Home For The Holidays."

Danes currently resides in New York.

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Larry David
Larry David
Photo: Scott Suchman

Larry David grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and attended Sheepshead Bay High School. Of his youth, he says, "I had a wonderful childhood, which is tough because it's hard to adjust to a miserable adulthood." Not a surprising quote from a man whose alter ego came to life in the form of George Costanza on the television series, "Seinfeld," which he co-created.

After attending the University of Maryland, David embarked on a career as a stand-up comedian in 1974. That career was peppered with odd jobs including cab driver, bra salesman, and private chauffeur. In 1979, he was hired as a writer and performer on the late night comedy series "Fridays." The show lasted until 1982, at which point he moved back to New York and eventually landed a job as a writer for "Saturday Night Live".

A friend of Jerry Seinfeld since 1976 when the two were performing in comedy clubs, David became something of a legend in the business as a "comic's comic," the one the other comics would come to see. In 1988, when Seinfeld was asked to develop a show for NBC, he solicited David's advice and the two came up with the idea for the show, which debuted in 1989. David was the executive producer of "Seinfeld" for seven years. Currently, he's executive producing and starring in his own television series for HBO, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which is now in its fifth season.

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Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Photo: Scott Suchman

One of the world's most respected actors today, Tom Hanks has won numerous awards, and holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards -- "Philadelphia," in 1993 and "Forrest Gump," in 1994. He also won Golden Globes for both of these performances. Throughout the success of "Forrest Gump" (which has become the fourth largest grossing movie in history), Hanks has won a Golden Globe Award, a People's Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Chicago Film Critics Award, a National Association of Theater Owners Male Star of the Year Award, and the Hollywood Women's Press Club Award. In addition to the many honors Hanks has received, he was named "Man of the Year" by Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the nation's oldest undergraduate dramatic group), for his performance as astronaut Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's "Apollo 13."

Hanks got his first big break when he was cast as the lead in the ABC television comedy series "Bosom Buddies." This led to starring roles in "Bachelor Party," and "Splash." His many film credits include "Volunteers, "A League of Their Own," "Big," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Saving Private Ryan," "Cast Away," "The Road to Perdition," "Catch Me If You Can," "The Polar Express" and HBO's "Band of Brothers."

Hanks currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Rita Wilson, and their family.

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Eric Idle
Eric Idle
Photo: Scott Suchman

There seems no way of avoiding the fact that Eric Idle was in Monty Python. Despite this unfortunate accident, of which he is reminded every day by shouts in the marketplace of, "Hey Monty!" "Which one are you?" "God bless you Mike" "How tall is John Cleese?" etc. etc., he has lived quite a rich and useful life for such a poor useless bastard.

He has been involved in a variety of odd things in a lifelong quest to avoid a proper job. He has written novels, sung operas, directed and acted for television, written hit singles, as well as appearing in many movies and animated features. Now he has even written a Broadway musical "Spamalot," with partner John Du Prez directed by Mike Nichols, which won the Tony for Best Musical of 2005, but he still refuses to shut up. Eric claims he only remains in showbiz because he cannot find the exit. His latest book, The Greedy Bastard Diary was recently on the Best Seller List of the LA Times and it tells you more than you ever wanted to know about this annoying limey.

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Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
Photo: Scott Suchman

Since her screen debut in "Lovers and Other Strangers," Diane Keaton has proven to be an extremely versatile actress, director and producer. Her acting career spans over twenty-five greats, including "The Godfather" Trilogy, "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," "Annie Hall," for which she received a best actress Academy Award, and the smash hits "Father of the Bride" and "The First Wives Club." Ms. Keaton also received Academy Award nominations for her roles in the film "Something's Gotta Give," "Reds" and "Marvin's Room." Thus, making history as the only actress to have had an Academy Award once in every decade. Most recently, Ms. Keaton won the Golden Globe for her performance in "Something's Gotta Give."

Ms. Keaton's directing credits include "Heaven," and "Unstrung Heroes." She produced Gus Van Sant's "Elephant," which won the Palm D'Or at the Cannes film festival last year. She starred in and executive produced the Lifetime TV movie, "On Thin Ice," directed and executive produced the TV pilot "Pasadena," directed and co-starred in "Hanging Up," and contributed performances to "The Other Sister."

Ms. Keaton currently has a book out that she edited showcasing her collection of amateur clown paintings, for Lookout and Powerhouse books, entitled Clown Paintings. Shifting effortlessly from comedy to drama and back again, Diane Keaton continues to captivate and delight her audiences with every project she devotes herself to.

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Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
Photo: Scott Suchman

Blessed with style and substance, Queen Latifah has blossomed into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate. Heralded by the press and the industry as a force to be reckoned with, Latifah has quite simply done it all and shows no sign of slowing down.

Latifah has had amazing success in Hollywood in recent years. She received rave reviews, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG Award nomination for her portrayal as Mama Morton in Miramax's "Chicago." Following "Chicago," Latifah starred in Disney's box office hit "Bringing Down the House," on which she also acted as executive producer. Last year, she appeared opposite Jimmy Fallon in Fox's "Taxi" and then starred in MGM's "Beauty Shop" (a spin-off of the hit "Barbershop"), which she also produced.

Latifah will continue her string of successes this year with Wayne Wang's "The Last Holiday," in which she stars opposite LL Cool J, as well as Marc Forster's "Stranger Than Fiction" playing opposite Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Up next for Latifah is Paramount's action film "Bad Girls" with Jada Pinkett Smith, which she will also produce.

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Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels
Photo: Marcie Thurstlic

Lorne Michaels is the creator and executive producer of "Saturday Night Live," the longest-running and highest-rated weekly late night television program in history. He was also the recipient of the 2004 Mark Twain Prize.

Over the last 30 years, "SNL" has won countless Emmy Awards and was honored with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and cited as "truly a national institution." Most recently, Michaels and the show were honored with a 2002 Emmy for Best Writing in a Variety/Comedy Series. Michaels has personally won ten Emmys as a writer and producer in television.

Michaels' film credits include "Three Amigos" (which he produced and co-wrote with Steve Martin and Randy Newman), "Wayne's World" (and its successful sequel), "Tommy Boy," "Lassie," "A Night at the Roxbury," "Superstar," and the WWII drama "Enigma" which he produced with Mick Jagger. Most recently, he produced the hit comedy "Mean Girls."

In addition to his weekly duties on "SNL," Michaels is executive producer of NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

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Randy Newman
Randy Newman
Photo: Scott Suchman

Randy Newman was born in 1943, into a famously musical family. At 17, Newman was already a professional songwriter, knocking out tunes for a Los Angeles publishing house. His eclectic compositions have been recorded by a wide range of artists, from Pat Boone to Ray Charles, Peggy Lee to Wilson Pickett.

The 70's included his sophomore effort "12 Songs," the classic "Sail Away" and the brilliant and controversial "Good Old Boys." He experienced a huge smash with the song "Short People," followed by "Born Again" in 1979. In the '80s, he divided his time between film composing and recording.

Towards the end of the decade, he released an impressive four-CD compilation, "Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman" and "Bad Love," Newman's first collaboration with Mitchell Froom. In 2002, Newman won his first Oscar for "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters Inc.," and in 2004 won an Emmy Award for the main title theme for the hit television series "Monk."

Newman has also written scores for Milos Forman's "Ragtime," "Trouble In Paradise," "The Natural," "Toy Story," "James and the Giant Peach," "Cats Don't Dance," "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2."

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Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols
Photo: Scott Suchman

Mike Nichols (Director), formerly half of the legendary comedy team of Nichols and May, has been one of the leading directors of stage and screen for more than 30 years.

Broadway directing credits include: "Barefoot in the Park," "Luv," "The Odd Couple," "Plaza Suite," "Prisoner of Second Avenue" and "The Real Thing," for all of which he was awarded the Tony for Best Direction. Film credits include: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," "The Graduate" (Academy Award for Best Direction), "Catch 22," "Carnal Knowledge," "Silkwood," "Working Girl," "Postcards From the Edge," "Regarding Henry," "The Birdcage," "Primary Colors," "Closer" and for HBO "Wit" and "Angels in America." He directed this season's reigning musical hit on Broadway, "Spamalot."

Mr. Nichols is one of only two directors, along with Bob Fosse, to have won the Academy Award, the Tony, the Emmy, and the Grammy. His Tony Awards number eight. He also has received the George Abbott Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honor, and has been honored by the Museum of Television and Radio and the Lincoln Center Film Society.

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Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner
Photo: Scott Suchman

Born in the Bronx, Reiner is the son of a watchmaker. At Evander Childs High School he enrolled in drama school for eight months and landed a part as a second tenor in an updated version of "The Merry Widow." After serving in World War II, Reiner became a comedian and actor with Maurice Evans' Special Services Entertainment Unit.

Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, he won the leading role in the national company of "Call Me Mister" and after three more years in various Broadway musicals, joined Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on "Your Show of Shows." His 1958 novel, "Enter Laughing," became the basis for a Broadway play and feature film.

Reiner has co-starred in the TV programs, "Your Show of Shows," "The 2000 Year Old Man," and also created, "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Reiner has directed many feature films, including: "The Comic," "The Jerk," "The Man With Two Brains," "All of Me," and "Fatal Instinct." He has also acted in the motion pictures: "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming," "The Gazebo," "Generation," "The End," "The Slums Of Beverly Hills," "Ocean's 11," and "Ocean's 12," to name a few.

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Martin Short
Martin Short
Photo: Scott Suchman

Born in Ontario, Canada, Short began his career on Canada's "SCTV Comedy Network," where his work garnered an Emmy Award. Short's proven ability as a comedic chameleon and his host of hilarious impressions brought him to the attention of "Saturday Night Live."

Short's film appearances include, "Three Amigos," "Inner Space," "Mars Attacks," "Jungle to Jungle," "The Big Picture," "Father of the Bride," and "Father of the Bride II." He has produced and starred in numerous television comedy specials, and has also received a Tony Award, a Tony Award nomination, a Theatre World Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and seven Emmy nominations.

In 1994, Short was awarded the "Order of Canada" (the Canadian equivalent to British Knighthood) for his contribution to Canadian culture and was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in June 2000.

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Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin
Photo: Scott Suchman

Lily Tomlin, one of America's foremost comediennes and winner of the 2003 Mark Twain Prize, continues to venture across an ever-widening range of media, starring in television, theater, motion pictures, animation, video, and personal appearances. Tomlin has received numerous awards, including: six Emmys, two Tonys, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics' Circle Award, a CableAce Award, a Grammy, and two Peabody Awards.

Tomlin made her television debut in 1966 on "The Garry Moore Show" and appeared on "The Merv Griffin Show," which led to a move to California where she appeared as a regular on "Music Scene." In 1969, Tomlin joined the cast of the top-rated "Laugh-In" and immediately rose to national prominence with her characterizations of Ernestine, the irascible telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish six year old. When "Laugh-In" left the air, Tomlin co-write and starred in six comedy television specials, for which she won three Emmy Awards and a Writers Guild of America Award.

Tomlin's film credits include acting credits in: "The Late Show," "9 to 5," "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," "All of Me," "Big Business," "Shadows and Fog," "Short Cuts," "The Player," "Flirting With Disaster," "Tea With Mussolini" and "I Heart Huckabees." She'll next be seen in the movie, "A Prairie Home Companion," written by Garrison Keillor and directed by Robert Altman.

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