Michelle Yeoh, the veteran Malaysian actress who is currently generating Oscar buzz for her performance in this spring’s breakout A24 hit Everything Everywhere All at Once, will be conferred with a Doctorate of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute “for contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image,” The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The presentation of that honor to Yeoh, as well as a Doctorate of Communication Arts to AFI Trustee Emeritus Lawrence Herbert — the inventor of a variety of color systems who joined the AFI Board of Trustees in 1987 and served until 2017, and who made possible the 2020 establishment of the Lawrence Herbert Alumni Center on the AFI campus — will take place during the AFI Conservatory’s commencement ceremony celebrating the Class of 2022 on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
“Michelle Yeoh and Lawrence Herbert have inspired the world with their remarkable talents,” Bob Gazzale, AFI’s president and CEO, tells THR. “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.”
This is the first of what will be likely many laurels bestowed upon Yeoh over the coming months, as the actress is basking in career-best reviews for her work in the mind-bending Everything Everywhere All at Once. Her more than 70 prior screen credits including the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Sunshine, Crazy Rich Asians, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Past recipients of AFI honorary degrees include Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Saul Bass, Angela Bassett, Kathryn Bigelow, Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Anne V. Coates, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, Nora Ephron, Jodie Foster, Lesli Linka Glatter, James Earl Jones, Lawrence Kasdan, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Paul Schrader, Quentin Tarantino, Lily Tomlin, Robert Towne, Cicely Tyson, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.