The twenty-fifth annual special presentation of Kennedy Center honors held in Washington, D.C. Recipients of this year's honors are actor James Earl Jones, Broadway actress Chita Rivera, conductor James Levine, actress Elizabeth Taylor, and singer Paul Simon.

Highlights include: a video presentation celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Kennedy Center Honors; an opening speech by host Walter Cronkite; actor John Travolta speaking about Taylor and introducing a video about her life; Matt Bogart, Patricia Ben Peterson, Billy Hartung, and Alice Ripley performing “Getting Married Today” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company”; Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick performing “That’s What Friends Are For” and “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” accompanied by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C.; Sidney Poitier speaking about Jones and narrating a video about his life; Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, and Courtney B. Vance recounting their experiences with Jones; Harold Prince speaking about Rivera and narrating a video about her life; Brian Stokes Mitchell introducing Charlotte d’Amboise and the cast of “West Side Story” performing a dance number from that show; Donna Murphy performing the title song from the musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman”; Valarie Pettiford performing “All That Jazz” from the musical “Chicago”; a speech from James A. Johnson, chairman of the Kennedy Center; Plácido Domingo speaking about Levine and introducing a video about his life; Rudolph Giuliani speaking about Levine; Bryn Terfel performing “Toreador” from the opera “Carmen,” conducted by Paul Nadler; Frederica von Stade, Terfel, and Domingo performing a song written specifically in honor of Levine; Steve Martin speaking about Simon and narrating a video about his life; Alicia Keys performing “Bridge Over Troubled Water”; John Mellencamp performing “Graceland” and “Mrs. Robinson”; James Taylor and Alison Krauss performing “The Boxer”; Mellencamp, Taylor, Keys, Krause, and the Dixie Hummingbirds performing “Loves Me Like a Rock”; and a closing statement from Cronkite and George Stevens Jr., along with a performance of “America the Beautiful.” Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:32:02
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 100610
  • GENRE: Award presentations
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Drama
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 2002


  • George Stevens Jr. … Producer, Created by, Writer
  • Sarah Lukinson … Co-Producer, Writer
  • Michael B. Seligman … Associate Producer
  • Louis J. Horvitz … Director
  • Nick Vanoff … Created by
  • David Leaf … Writer
  • Paul Nadler … Conductor
  • Rob Marshall … Choreographer
  • John de Luca … Choreographer
  • Gay Men's Chorus of Washington D.C., The … Chorus
  • Walter Cronkite … Host
  • Sidney Poitier … Narrator, Guest
  • Harold Prince … Narrator, Guest
  • Steve Martin … Narrator, Guest
  • Plácido Domingo … Performer, Guest
  • Matt Bogart … Performer
  • Patricia Ben Peterson … Performer
  • Billy Hartung … Performer
  • Alice Ripley … Performer
  • Burt Bacharach … Performer
  • Dionne Warwick … Performer
  • Charlotte d'Ambrose … Performer
  • Donna Murphy … Performer
  • Valarie Pettiford … Performer
  • Bryn Terfel … Performer
  • Frederica von Stade … Performer
  • Alicia Keys … Performer
  • John Mellencamp … Performer
  • James Taylor … Performer
  • Alison Krauss … Performer
  • James Earl Jones … Guest
  • Chita Rivera … Guest
  • James Levine … Guest
  • Paul Simon … Guest
  • Elizabeth Taylor … Guest
  • John Travolta … Guest
  • Charles S. Dutton … Guest
  • Kelsey Grammer … Guest
  • Courtney B. Vance … Guest
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell … Guest
  • James A. Johnson … Guest
  • Rudolph Giuliani … Guest
  • George Stevens Jr. … Guest
  • Stephen Sondheim