The twenty-sixth annual special presentation of Kennedy Center honors held in Washington, D.C. Recipients of this year's honors are country singer Loretta Lynn, director Mike Nichols, soul singer James Brown, violinist Itzhak Perlman and comedian/actress Carol Burnett.

Host Caroline Kennedy offers opening remarks, and actress Sissy Spacek, who portrayed Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980) introduces a brief series of clips highlighting Lynn's early life and career. Former President George H.W. Bush offers his compliments, and several of Lynn's country-music peers take the stage to perform her songs, including Reba McEntire singing "You're Lookin' at Country," Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks on "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man," Lyle Lovett with "Rated X," and Patty Loveless with "Coal Miner's Daughter."

Next, playwright Tom Stoppard introduces Nichols, touching upon his birth in Berlin and childhood emigration to America, where he fell in with "bohemian theater kids" and met comedy partner Elaine May before turning to directing. May herself takes the stage and comments on Nichols "true, intelligent and irresistible" talent, and actors Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Christine Baranski, Patrick Wilson and Philip Seymour Hoffman take the stage to perform a comedic song in Nichols' honor.

Rapper/actor LL Cool J introduces James Brown, chronicling his journey from an impoverished Georgia childhood to "the Godfather of Soul" and "the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business," whose messages of racial pride impacted the societal mood of the 1960s and '70s. Dan Aykroyd performs "I'll Go Crazy," followed by Joss Stone performing "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," Brian McKnight on "Papa's Got a Brand-New Bag," Anastacia on "I Feel Good" and "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," and concluding with Yolanda Adams singing "Georgia on My Mind."

Caroline Kennedy acknowledges Kennedy Center Chairman James Johnson, and actor Alan Alda introduces Perlman, discussing his birth in Israel and journey to America, where he appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" as a child prodigy and earned his Juilliard School tuition through performances. A father of five, Perlman now teaches young musicians through the The Perlman Music Program. Fellow musician Pinchas Zukerman introduces several of Perlman's young students, who offer their thanks and perform the last movement of "Summer" from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."

Lastly, Julie Andrews introduces her friend and occasional co-star Burnett, highlighting her early love of movies and performing and her journey from UCLA to her Broadway debut in "Once Upon a Mattress," the creation of her variety series, "The Carol Burnett Show," and her later dramatic roles and work as a playwright. Actors John Schneider and Scott Bakula sing a medley of "Beautiful Girls," "Oh! You Beautiful Doll," "You Are My Lucky Star," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" and other numbers as Elaine Stritch, Kim Cattrall, Florence Henderson, Chita Rivera, Reba McEntire, Harvey Korman, Gary Beach, Tim Conway and Bernadette Peters appearing as a variety of Burnett's many outrageous characters, outfitted in Bob Mackie costumes, closing with Andrews in Burnett's famous "Gone With the Wind" dress. Finally, Wayne Brady performing "Living in America," joined by all of the night's other performers. Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:32:11
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 100649
  • GENRE: Specials
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Music
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 2003


  • Danette Herman … Coordinating Producer
  • George Stevens Jr. … Producer, Created by, Writer
  • Ali Gifford … Co-Producer
  • Michael Stevens … Co-Producer
  • Sara Lukinson … Co-Producer, Writer
  • Sylvia Cahill … Associate Producer
  • Bill Urban … Line Producer
  • Louis J. Horvitz … Director
  • Nick Vanoff … Created by
  • Ken Welch … Music by
  • Mitzie Welch … Music by
  • Ray Charles … Music by
  • Don Crichton … Choreographer
  • Caroline Kennedy … Host
  • Reba McEntire … Performer
  • Garth Brooks … Performer
  • Trisha Yearwood … Performer
  • Lyle Lovett … Performer
  • Patty Loveless … Performer
  • Christine Baranski … Performer
  • Patrick Wilson … Performer
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman … Performer
  • Joss Stone … Performer
  • Brian McKnight … Performer
  • Anastacia (see also: Anastacia Newkirk) … Performer
  • Yolanda Adams … Performer
  • Scott Bakula … Performer
  • John Schneider … Performer
  • Elaine Stritch … Performer
  • Kim Cattrall … Performer
  • Florence Henderson … Performer
  • Chita Rivera … Performer
  • Harvey Korman … Performer
  • Gary Beach … Performer
  • Tim Conway … Performer
  • Bernadette Peters … Performer
  • Wayne Brady … Performer
  • Sissy Spacek … Guest
  • George H.W. Bush … Guest
  • Tom Stoppard … Guest
  • Elaine May … Guest
  • Meryl Streep … Guest
  • Candice Bergen … Guest
  • LL Cool J (see also: James Todd Smith) … Guest
  • Dan Aykroyd … Guest
  • James A. Johnson … Guest
  • Alan Alda … Guest
  • Pinchas Zukerman … Guest
  • Julie Andrews … Guest
  • Loretta Lynn … Honoree
  • Mike Nichols … Honoree
  • James Brown … Honoree
  • Itzhak Perlman … Honoree
  • Carol Burnett … Honoree
  • Bob Mackie
  • Antonio Vivaldi