Eddie Murphy is to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour for 2015, it has been announced. The actor represents the first movie star to pick up the prestigious prize since Will Ferrell in 2011.

Eddie MurphyEddie Murphy is this year's recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Previously, Tina Fey was a recipient of the prize, as was Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin.

"Through his appearances on Saturday Night Live, groundbreaking stand-up comedy, and work as a movie star, Eddie Murphy has shown that like Mark Twain, he was years ahead of his time," said Kennedy Center chief Deborah F. Rutter on Thursday.

"I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition from the Kennedy Center and to join the distinguished list of past recipients of this award," Murphy, 54, said on his website.

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Murphy, who really needs no introduction, is best known for his 1980s movies Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places though tasted success the 1990s with The Nutty Professor and Shrek. Still, the 46-year-old has suffered some sensational flops including The Adventures of Pluto Nash - a 2002 sci-fi comedy that cost $100 million to make though only pulled in $7 million at the box-office. The film holds a score of 5% on review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes.

Murphy will receive his honor during a gala performance at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts concert hall in Washington DC on October 18.

Murphy is currently working on Beverly Hills Cop 4, with Brett Ratner directing. The film is set for release on 25 March 2016.

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