It was announced today, Sept. 5, 2013, by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that four individuals will be honored at the 5th Annual Governors Awards. The Governors Awards honors men and women in the film industry with honor Oscars, which includes the annual Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. This year actress Angela Lansbury, actor Steve Martin and costume designer Piero Tosi will be awarded honorary Oscars and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be presented to actress Angelina Jolie. The Oscars will be handed out at the 5th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood & Highland Center.
In a statement released today, Academy President Cheryl Boon Isaacs said, "The Governors Awards pay tribute to individuals who've made indelible contributions in their respective fields. We couldn't be more excited for this year's honorees and look forward to bringing their peers and colleagues together to celebrate their extraordinary achievements."
Actress Angela Lansbury has been nominated for three Oscars for her supporting performances in "Gaslight" (1944), "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945) and "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962). She was featured as Elizabeth Taylor's sister in "National Velvet" (1944), played Queen Anne in "The Three Musketeers" (1948) and played opposite Elvis Presley in "Blue Hawaii" (1961). Angela is a veteran Broadway performer, the winner of five Tony Awards and may be best known for her portrayal of Jessica Fletcher in the hit TV series "Murder She Wrote" - a series that ran successfully for 12 seasons on television.
Steve Martin came to attention as the silver-haired, banjo-playing comedian on "Saturday Night Live." He easily made the transition from television to film writing and starring in "The Jerk," the black and white film "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "Three Amigos," "L.A. Story" and "Roxanne." He also starred in a "Father of the Bride," Rob Reiner's "Parenthood," and most recently played Meryl Streep's love interest in "It's Complicated." Along with his film accomplishments, Martin was honored in 2011 with the Entertainer of the Year Award at the International Bluegrass Music Awards and he has hosted the Oscars three times, including in 2010 with his "It's Complicated" co-star Alec Baldwin.
Costume designer Piero Tosi found his first success in film working with Italian director Luchino Visconti. With Visconti, he designed the costumes for "White Nights" and "Rocco and His Brothers." Tosi has been nominated for an Oscar five times, including for his work in "The Leopard" (1963), "Death in Venice" (1971), "Ludwig" (1972), "La Cage aux Folles" (1978) and "La traviated" (1982). He also created costumes for "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" and "Love Italian Style."
Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for her breakout performance in "Girl, Interrupted." The Actress has continued to bring gritty, smart women to the screen - whether it be an action film or a serious drama. But, it is her passionate work for humanitarian causes that made her this year's choice for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Jolie has worked for the Council on Foreign Relations and as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Antonio Guterres.
According to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.” And the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones and no texting, please don't talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don't forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com