Bill Murray to be awarded Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize

Cast member Bill Murray arrives for the premiere of the film "Rock the Kasbah" in New York October 19, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Actor and comedian Bill Murray has been chosen to receive the 19th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Murray, the star of such movies as “Groundhog Day” and “Rushmore,” will be awarded the prize named for the great 19th century U.S. novelist and satirist on Oct. 23, the Kennedy Center said in a statement on Monday.

“An award-winning writer, actor and comedian, his brilliant wit and infectious spirit continue to inspire our laughter across generations both on and off the screen,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter.

Murray, 65, is among the best-known stars to emerge from NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” He performed on the groundbreaking television comedy show from 1977 to 1980 and honed his skills portraying insincere and lovably smarmy characters.

He portrayed a dim-witted groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” was a paranormal investigator in “Ghostbusters” and stood out as a mobster in “Mad Dog and Glory.”

Murray was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a jet-lagged movie star in “Lost in Translation.” He has won two Emmy Awards.

In a statement, Murray said he was honored to receive the award. “I believe Mark Twain has rolled over in his grave so much for so long, that this news won’t disturb his peace,” he said.

Previous Mark Twain Prize honorees include Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Neil Simon, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno and Eddie Murphy, the 2015 winner.

The award ceremony will be recorded for television broadcast.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Tom Brown