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Shirley MacLaine Named 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for CDG(NEW YORK) -- Shirley MacLaine has been named one of the five individuals who will receive the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.  The legendary 79-year-old actress joins musicians Billy Joel, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock, as well as opera singer Martina Arroyo.

The honors are presented annually by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of recipients' lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.

MacLaine's acting career stretches back to the mid-1950s.  She's been nominated for an Oscar six times, winning in 1984 for her role in the film Terms of Endearment.  Her other major movie credits include Some Came Running, The Apartment, Irma la Douce, Sweet Charity, The Turning Point, Steel Magnolias and Being There.

MacLaine currently stars in the Emmy-nominated PBS series Downton Abbey.

The 2013 Kennedy Center Honors recipients will be presented with medallions at a State Department dinner on Dec. 7.  The following day, they will be recognized at the White House by President Obama prior to a gala at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

CBS will air the gala as a special on Dec. 29.

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