The Godfather star found fame on the big screen in the 1960s with his movie debut in To Kill a Mockingbird and has scooped a number of top accolades throughout his career, most notably a Best Actor Oscar in 1983 for Tender Mercies.
He was feted once more at the 22nd annual Palm Springs gala in California on Saturday, with stars including Oliver Stone and Jake Gyllenhaal giving Duvall a standing ovation as he collected the prize.
Duvall said, "It's nice to be honoured by, I don't say anybody, but by these people, it's wonderful."
Major award season favourite Colin Firth won the Best Actor nod for his role in The King's Speech, while director Danny Boyle took home the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.
Pregnant Natalie Portman landed the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award for her performance in Black Swan, and Carey Mulligan accepted the Breakthrough Performance Award for Never Let Me Go.
Other winners at the ceremony included Javier Bardem (International Star Award) and The Social Network (Ensemble Performance Award), while special nods were given to Ben Affleck (Chairman's Award) and Jennifer Lawrence (Rising Star Award).