Stratford to fete Plummer for lifetime achievement

Christopher Plummer will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival at a Toronto gala this fall.

Christopher Plummer will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival this fall, with the celebrated actor to be feted in a theatrical tribute in Toronto.

Christopher Plummer poses on the red carpet for a screening of his film Beginners during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

On Thursday — the same day Plummer received an Emmy nomination for voicing the documentary Moguls & Movie Stars — the festival announced plans for a gala tribute to the prolific, Toronto-born actor on Sept. 26.

A two-time Tony-winner (for Barrymore and Cyrano), Plummer already has two Emmy wins under his belt, for TV's Madeline and The Moneychangers.

The still busy octogenarian received his first-ever Oscar nomination in 2010 for The Last Station, recently appeared in theatres in Beginners and is filming a role for the upcoming English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Still, many movie fans remember him best as Capt. von Trapp from The Sound of Music.

A companion of the Order of Canada, Plummer is also a Genie Award-winner and has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.

Plummer is a two-time Tony-winner, including for the one-man play Barrymore, which he revived in Toronto earlier in 2011. ((Barrymore Entertainment Limited))

"Christopher Plummer is a national treasure," Stratford artistic director Des McAnuff, who directed Plummer in The Tempest and Caesar and Cleopatra, said in a statement.

The 81-year-old "got his start" at Stratford in a production of Henry V in 1956 and has supported the southwestern Ontario festival for much of its nearly six-decade history, McAnuff said.

"We're very proud and honoured to be hosting this gala in celebration of one of the most distinguished actors of our time."

Stratford general director Antoni Cimolino, who produced Plummer in both Barrymore and King Lear in Stratford ahead of their subsequent New York runs, added that Plummer is "one of the most talented and gracious men I've ever had the privilege to meet."

The September gala will feature musical and dramatic tributes performed by members of the Stratford company, while fellow Canadian acting veteran Gordon Pinsent will present the newly created award to Plummer.

With files from The Associated Press