The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has just announced the latest recipient of their coveted Cecil B. DeMille Award. Robert De Niro will follow in the footsteps of Martin Scorsese, Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, and Anthony Hopkins to become one of the select Hollywood talents to be honored with the statue.

De Niro will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 68th Annual Golden Globes on Sunday, January 16, 2011. It will air live coast-to-coast on NBC from 5:00-8:00 p.m. (PST)/8:00-11:00 p.m. (EST) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel with host Ricky Gervais.

Via the press release:

In 1974, De Niro received his first Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II. His extraordinary portrayal of Jake La Motta in Scorsese’s Raging Bull earned him his second Oscar, this time for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and his first Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama.

De Niro has earned seven additional Golden Globe nominations, garnering nods for his work as Travis Bickle in Scorsese’s acclaimed Taxi Driver; as Jimmy Doyle in New York, New York; as a Vietnam vet in Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter; as Jack Walsh in Martin Brest’s Midnight Run; as ex-con Max Cady in Scorsese’s remake of the 1962 classic Cape Fear; as insecure mob boss Paul Vitti in Harold Ramis’ Analyze This; and as Jack Byrnes in Jay Roach’s comedy Meet the Parents.

Chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors, the Cecil B. DeMille Award is given annually to the talented individuals who have made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment. Recent recipients include Martin Scorsese (2010), Steven Spielberg (2009), Warren Beatty (2007), Anthony Hopkins (2006), Robin Williams (2005), Michael Douglas (2004), Gene Hackman (2003), Harrison Ford (2002), Al Pacino (2001), and Barbra Streisand (2000).

Doesn’t it seem wrong that De Niro is just now receiving this honor? Is there a reason why Douglas, Ford, and especially Williams got the award before him? They’re all talented individuals but in terms of acclaim aren’t they slightly lower on the totem pole than De Niro?

Also, why is it that we haven’t had a female recipient of this award since 2000? There are plenty of legendary actresses who are still alive and kicking waiting for their due but each year HFPA continues to play it safe by picking the usual suspects.

What do you think of De Niro receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award?

Source: Coming Soon