Freeman will receive the award at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards, held Jan. 15, 2012. Previous recipients of the honor, which is determined by the HFPA's board of directors, include Alfred Hitchcock, Lucille Ball, Sidney Poitier, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Barbra Streisand, Martin Scorsese and, at last year's ceremony, Robert De Niro. Freeman made his Broadway debut in the Pearl Bailey production of Hello, Dolly! He earned a Tony Award nomination for The Gospel at Colonus and has also appeared in The Dozens, Purlie, The Mighty Gents and the 2008 revival of The Country Girl.
Freeman is known for his Golden Globe-winning performance in "Driving Miss Daisy," and his Academy Award-winning performance in "Million Dollar Baby." His numerous screen appearances include "Invictus," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Se7en," "Kiss the Girls," "Amistad," "Unforgiven," "Attica" and "The Bucket List."