Spike Lee and Denzel Washington

FILE - In this May 19, 2009 file photo, director Spike Lee, left, and Denzel Washington talk during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets in Los Angeles. Lee will honor Washington’s illustrious career by presenting his friend and collaborator the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. AFI says Tuesday, June 4, 2019, that Lee will present the actor and director with the honor at a gala Thursday, June 6 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (AP Photo/Mark Avery, File)

LOS ANGELES — Spike Lee will honor Denzel Washington's career by presenting his friend and collaborator with the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.

AFI said Tuesday that Lee will present the actor and director with the honor at a gala Thursday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Lee has directed Washington in four films, including "Malcolm X" and "Inside Man." He also worked with Washington's son, John David, on the 2019 Oscar best-picture nominee "BlacKkKlansman."

It's a role reversal for Washington, who has helped present Lee with an honorary Oscar in 2015 and an NAACP Hall of Fame Award in 2003.

Mahershala Ali will join a star-studded list of presenters including Morgan Freeman, Chadwick Boseman and Julia Roberts.

The tribute will air on TNT on June 20 at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.

The 64-year-old Washington joins the ranks of Mel Brooks, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Alfred Hitchcock. Last year's AFI honoree was George Clooney. — (AP)

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