19 May 2014 7:17 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The American Film Institute is awarding honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees to screenwriter Robert Towne and actress Cicely Tyson.

The honors, which recognize their “contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image,” will be presented during AFI Conservatory’s commencement ceremonies June 11 at theTCL Chinese Theatre.

Others previously awarded an AFI Honorary Degree include Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Kathryn Bigelow, Mel Brooks, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, Nora Ephron, James Earl Jones, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Thelma Schoonmaker and Haskell Wexler.

Towne won an Oscar for “Chinatown” and was nominated for “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo” and “Greystoke.” He also directed four of his own scripts – “Personal Best,” “Tequila Sunrise” “Without Limits” and “Ask the Dust” — and is currently working as a consulting producer on the final season of AMC’s “Mad Men.”

Tyson received an Oscar nomination for “Sounder” and »


- Dave McNary

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