Al Pacino
(© Tristan Fuge)
Al Pacino
(© Tristan Fuge)
Tony Award winner Al Pacino was among the recipients of the 2011 National Medal of Arts, which were given out by President Obama earlier today at the White House.

Recipients also included Will Barnet, Rita Dove, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Martin Puryear, Mel Tillis, United Service Organization, and André Watts.

Recipients of the 2011 National Humanities Medal, which were also handed out today, include Kwame Anthony Appiah, John Ashbery, Robert Darnton, Andrew Delbanco, National History Day, Charles Rosen, Teofilo Ruiz, Ramón Saldívar, Amartya Sen.

Pacino was awarded the honor, according to a citation read out at the ceremony, "for his contributions as an actor and director to American film and theater. Mr. Pacino is an enduring and iconic figure, who came of age in one of the most exciting decades of American cinema, the 1970s. His signature intensity as an actor was originally honed for the stage, under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg, and he has become one of the most outstanding and accomplished American artists."

The actor won Tony Awards for his work in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, and was nominated in 2011 for The Merchant of Venice. He is an eight-time Oscar nominee, winning for Scent of a Woman, and he won the Emmy Award for his portrayal of Roy Cohn in HBO's miniseries version of Angels in America.