The Academy Board of Governors met Tuesday night and re-elected president Tom Sherak for a third consecutive one-year term, and chose the recipients of this year’s Honorary Oscar statuettes to be given out at the third annual Governor’s Awards. Veteran actor James Earl Jones and famed make-up artist Dick Smith will get Honorary Awards for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
Philanthropist and television mogul Oprah Winfrey will be given the coveted Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette, which goes to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” Winfrey recently ended her long-running syndicated daily talk show, which often promoted the Oscars, in favor of running her OWN Network. Some have speculated that Oprah would make a damned fine Oscar host.
Biographical details are below.
Writer-director Phil Robinson with Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare of Don Mischer Productions will produce the Academy’s annual Governors Awards dinner, to take place on Saturday, November 12, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Born in Arkabutia, Mississippi, Jones made his film debut in 1964 in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” In 1970, he earned an Academy Award® nomination for his role as boxer Jack Jefferson in “The Great White Hope.” Jones has appeared in more than 50 feature films including “Claudine,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Field of Dreams,” “Coming to America” and, as Vice Admiral James Greer, “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger.” Additionally, Jones has also voiced some of the most iconic characters in motion pictures including Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy and Mustafa in “The Lion King.”
Known as the “godfather of makeup,” Smith began his career in 1945 as NBC’s first makeup man. He is known for his makeup artistry on such films as “The Godfather,” “The Exorcist” and “Taxi Driver.” In 1984 he won an Oscar® for his work on “Amadeus,” and received a nomination for “Dad” (1989). As an educator, Smith helped train many of today’s Academy Award-winning and nominated makeup artists including Rick Baker, Greg Cannom, Kevin Haney, Kazuhiro Tsuji, Mike Elizalde and Carl Fullerton.
Since receiving her Oscar nomination for her debut film performance in “The Color Purple,” actress, television host and producer Winfrey has gone on to establish herself as one of the most influential figures in entertainment and philanthropy. She has been especially dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and raising awareness of issues that affect women and children, both in the United States and around the globe. Her philanthropic efforts have included Oprah’s Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which opened in South Africa in 2007.
Sherak has served as an Academy governor for nine years; he’s a member of the executives branch. Academy board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any one office.
In addition, Producers Branch governor Hawk Koch was elected first vice president; Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Short Films and Feature Animation Branch governor John Lasseter was elected treasurer; and Actors Branch governor Annette Bening was re-elected secretary.
Sherak, a marketing, distribution and production executive with more than four decades of experience in the motion picture industry, is currently a consultant for Skydance Productions and Relativity Media.