Governors Awards to Honor Michael J. Fox, Diane Warren and Peter Weir – The Hollywood Reporter

Beloved actor and Parkinson’s disease activist Michael J. Fox will be celebrated with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award while the 13-time Songwriter Oscar Bridesmaid Diane Warrensix-time Academy Award nominee for directing and writing Peter Weir and avant-garde black director Eujan Palcy will receive honorary Oscars at the 13th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governor’s Awards on Nov. 19, the Academy announced Tuesday.

“The Academy’s Board of Trustees is honored to recognize four individuals who have made indelible contributions to film and the world at large,” said the outgoing Academy President. david rubin said in a statement. “Michael J. Fox’s tireless advocacy for Parkinson’s disease research and his boundless optimism illustrate the impact of one person in changing the future of millions. Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering filmmaker whose groundbreaking significance in international cinema is rooted in film history. Diane Warren’s music and lyrics have amplified the emotional impact of countless films and inspired generations of musical artists. And Peter Weir is a director of consummate artistic skill and talent whose work reminds us of the power of film to reveal the full range of human experience.

The Hersholt Prize, which has only been presented 42 times – previous winners include Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Angelina Jolie – is awarded on occasion “to a person in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought honor to the industry”. Fox, 61, who is best known for the TV series Family ties and the Back to the future movies, was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991, when he was just 29, and dedicated the decades that followed to fighting for a cure. In 2000, he started the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research, which is now the world’s leading Parkinson’s organization. And it’s the subject of a documentary, currently in production, by Oscar-winning filmmaker David Guggenheim.

The honorary Oscars, which “honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, outstanding contributions to the state of the motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy”, have been presented more frequently – 186 times, at least once a year, usually for an individual, sometimes to a group of people, an organization or even a movie.

Warren, 65, will be the first songwriter to be so honored. A hugely popular and admired figure in Hollywood, she has collaborated with the likes of Beyonce, dear, Celine Dion, whitney houston, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, john legend, Reba McEntire and carlos santana. And, rather infamously, it’s been nominated for Best Original Song Oscar 13 times (by far the highest accumulation in that category for someone who hasn’t won at least once), including during each of the last five years and in seven of the last eight years. Among the songs for which she has received nominations are giant hits such as “How Do I Live”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and “There You’ll Be”.

Weir, meanwhile, is the first Australian ever nominated for an honorary Oscar. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest living filmmakers who has never won an Oscar in competition – he has been nominated once as a producer, four times as a director and once as a writer – despite a production that includes classics covering the Australian new wave. (Picnic at the hanging rock, The last wave and Gallipoli) through the Hollywood productions of the following decades (The Year of the Dangerous Life, Witness, The Mosquito Coast, Dead Poets Society, Green card, The Truman Show and Master and Commander: The Other Side of the World). Now 77, he hasn’t directed a film since the 2010s The way back.

And Palcy, who was born in Martinique, in the French West Indies, and is 64, will become only the eighth black recipient of an honorary Oscar, following in the footsteps of James Basketball (1947), Sidney Poitier (2001), James Earl Jones (2011), Spike Lee (2015), Charles Burnett (2017), Cicely Tyson (2018) and Samuel L. Jackson (2021). She was one of the first black filmmakers to gain major recognition at film festivals (her debut feature, sugar cane alleywon the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1983, a first for a film by a black director, and a César, a first for a black director), and she was the first black filmmaker to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio (guiding Marlon Brando to his last Oscar nomination in 1989 A white and dry season). Many filmmakers of younger generations have cited her as a source of inspiration.

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