In a League of Her Own: Geena Davis Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

By Alistair Birrell
BU News Service


BOSTON – Geena Davis, the actress and activist, was awarded the Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony at Boston University on Friday afternoon.

Davis, an Academy Award winner and Boston University Alumna, was given the honor to celebrate both her acting career, and her activism work. Davis founded the Institute on Gender in Media in 2007 to address the lack of female characters and stereotyping of women in the entertainment industry.

“To be given a lifetime achievement award at this point,” Davis said during a press conference before the Ceremony, “It feels like, is this a little early?”

“I always wanted to play characters who were in charge of their own fate,” she said. “Not necessarily role models, especially if you look at Thelma and Louise, but definitely self-determining characters.”

“My daughter, she is about to turn 12,” Davis said while explaining her interest in the gender imbalance. “When I started watching videos with her, I noticed that there seemed to be far less female characters then male characters. I think it is incredibly important for kids to have the right image of women, so not stereotyped and not sexualized.”

Davis is known for starring in movies such as A League of Their Own, Commander in Chief, Thelma and Louise, and Stuart Little. She also competed in the US Olympic Archery team trials in 2000, and has worked with the Women’s Sports Foundation for over a decade.

The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and the Bette Davis Foundation jointly hosted the event. The Bette Davis Foundation awards scholarships to aspiring actresses, actors and artists, as well as the lifetime achievement award. Previous recipients of the award include Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Lauren Bacall and Prince Edward.

The Ceremony coincides with the opening of an exhibition of artifacts and memorabilia entitled, Geena Davis: Actor & Advocate. The exhibition features items form Davis’ career from the Howard Gotlieb Archives, such as personal correspondence, awards and movie props.




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