Bill Murray to receive humour prize at Kennedy Centre

Actor Bill Murray attends the =New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on October 6, 2014 in New York City. Photo / Getty
Actor Bill Murray attends the =New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on October 6, 2014 in New York City. Photo / Getty

WASHINGTON (AP) " Bill Murray will get the sort of attention he doesn't usually seek out when he's honored with the nation's top prize for humor.

The actor will be at the Kennedy Center on Sunday to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. David Letterman, Emma Stone and Sigourney Weaver will be among those on hand to celebrate his career.

Bill Murray eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the film 'Caddyshack', 1980. Photo / Getty
Bill Murray eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the film 'Caddyshack', 1980. Photo / Getty

Murray got his break on Saturday Night Live and starred in some of the most successful comedies of the 1980s and 1990s before transitioning into more dramatic roles. He was nominated for an Oscar for his soulful turn as a washed-up actor in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation.

Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live. Photo / Getty
Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live. Photo / Getty

He's become a folk hero in the social-media era by turning up unannounced at wedding receptions, kickball games and house parties.

He's also a regular at Chicago Cubs games and celebrity golf tournaments.

But he doesn't have an agent or a publicist and rarely does in-depth interviews. He declined to speak to reporters ahead of Sunday's event, save for a brief conversation with The Washington Post that occurred only after the newspaper published a lengthy profile of him.

Bill Murray backstage during the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival at Toyota Park on June 26, 2010 in Bridgeview, Illinois. Photo / Getty
Bill Murray backstage during the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival at Toyota Park on June 26, 2010 in Bridgeview, Illinois. Photo / Getty

Murray, 66, joins several other Saturday Night Live alumni who've received the prize, including Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and last year's winner, Eddie Murphy.

The prize was first awarded in 1998 and goes to those who influence society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer, satirist and social commentator better known as Mark Twain.

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