The honor is bestowed annually by SAG to an artist who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession," the guild said.
Reynolds, 82, is to receive the prize at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS Jan. 25.
"I'm thrilled that SAG-AFTRA is presenting our Life Achievement Award to Debbie Reynolds," SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said in a statement Monday.
"She is a tremendously talented performer with a diverse body of screen and stage work, live performances and several hit records. Her generous spirit and unforgettable performances have entertained audiences across the globe, moving us all from laughter to tears and back again. Congratulations, Debbie, on your life achievements."
Reynolds has starred in more than 50 motion pictures, two Broadway shows and two television series, as well as having made dozens of television, cabaret and concert appearances throughout her career.
Her film credits include Singin' in the Rain, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and How the West Was Won. She is also the mother of actress Carrie Fisher and producer Todd Fisher.
AFTRA is the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.