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Academy invites 178, including Hetherington

Hetherington, a 2010 nominee for 'Restrepo,' was killed in action in Libya in April

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has invited 178 artists and execs to become members, the biggest number since the Acad capped the annual invites at 211 in 2003.

The list includes late documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington, the org’s first posthumous selection. A 2010 nominee for his Afghan war doc “Restrepo,” Hetherington was killed in action in Libya in April. The org’s documentary branch proposed him, the governors agreed at their Tuesday night meeting, and the invitation was extended to Hetherington’s family in London.

Invitees in the acting branch include Bradley Cooper, Jesse Eisenberg, Russell Brand, Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis and Beyonce Knowles. Tom Hooper and Lisa Cholodenko made the directors’ list, while execs include Leslie Moonves, Rich Ross and Thomas Tull.

“These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy president Tom Sherak. “Their talent and creativity have entertained moviegoers around the world, and I welcome each of them to our ranks.”

As in other recent years, several branch committees endorsed fewer candidates than were proposed. The org added 135 last year, 134 in 2009, 105 in 2008 and 115 in 2007.

Voting membership has held steady at just under 6,000 since 2003.

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