Malaysian actor Michelle Yeoh will become the first Asian artist to receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from the American Film Institute (AFI).
The AFI announced on Monday that Yeoh will be recognized “for contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image” spanning her over-40-year career.
Yeoh will be presented the honor on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Hollywood’s iconic TCL Chinese Theatre during the commencement ceremony for AFI Conservatory’s Class of 2022. AFI Trustee Emeritus Lawrence Herbert will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate of communication arts degree for his commitment to AFI’s mission on the same day.
“Michelle Yeoh and Lawrence Herbert have inspired the world with their remarkable talents,” AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale said in a statement on Monday. “Though both of these trailblazers have proven impact in vastly different ways, it is their shared dedication to the art of the moving image that provides this proud moment for AFI to shine a proper light upon their gifts given us.”
Yeoh has accumulated over 70 acting credits across film and TV in a number of diverse roles. The actor made a name for herself early on in her career within Hong Kong’s film industry, then rose to international stardom in the ‘90s with films such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Some of her other notable works over the past few decades include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
Her recent performance as the star of A24’s critically acclaimed “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is generating Oscar buzz. The mind-boggling film became the studio’s first film to reach the $100 million milestone at the box office last week.
Yeoh will also be leading an all-Asian cast in the upcoming Netflix drama series “The Brothers Sun.”
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