WASHINGTON (AP) — Actress Sally Field and author Stephen King are among luminaries being awarded a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

Obama will bestow honors on 18 people and three institutions during a White House ceremony Thursday.

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The White House says Field was chosen for showing dignity, empathy and fearlessness in performances that have touched audiences worldwide and for displaying those same qualities in her off-screen advocacy for women, gay rights and public health.

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King is being recognized for combining storytelling with his analysis of human nature, and for thrilling readers around the world through decades of work.

Alice Waters, chef-owner of the organic restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, is receiving a National Humanities Medal for championing a holistic approach to eating and health.

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