The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday that Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and costume designer Piero Tosi will receive Honorary Awards and Angelina Jolie will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the fifth annual Governors Awards, to be held Nov. 16 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.
When a separate ceremony was decreed a few years ago, some Acad members balked. But new Acad prexy Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Thursday told Variety, “Having a separate evening has gotten everyone more engaged about these awards than they used to be. The event makes the awards closer and more personal.”
The evening also provides a more complete look at their careers; before that, the salutes were limited by TV’s time constraints.
Boone Isaacs declined to talk about the process by which the honorees were chosen at Tuesday night’s board meeting. But she said industry people offer names year-round. After each ceremony, there will be “a flurry of suggestions” for future honorees. “Making a motion picture is a collaborative effort involving many different creative forces” and the Academy consists of people with knowledge and information about those varied contributions. She praised this year’s roster because “it represents a wide range of talent.”
There was some trepidation before the 2009 event, but it proved to be a big hit, and has grown since then. Among other things, the evening into a must-stop for Hollywood heavy-hitters, including awards hopefuls who get a chance to work the room.
There’s no pattern to the choices, and there’s no way to handicap them. And it’s hard to quibble with any of the selections.
Lansbury received an Oscar nomination for her film debut, the 1944 “Gaslight.” Since then, she earned two other supporting noms, for “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and 1962’s “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Three-time Oscar host Martin was screenwriter and star of 1977 Oscar-nommed short “The Absent-Minded Waiter.” He also wrote and starred in such pics as “The Jerk,” “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “Three Amigos,” “Roxanne,” “L.A. Story,” two movies in “The Pink Panther” reboot and “Shopgirl.”
Tosi collaborated with director Luchino Visconti on such films as “White Nights” and “Rocco and His Brothers” and was a costume design nominee for Visconti’s “The Leopard,” “Death in Venice” and “Ludwig.” He received two more nominations, for “La Cage aux Folles” and “La Traviata.”
Supporting actress Oscar winner Jolie (“Girl, Interrupted”) has become an advocate for humanitarian causes such as the Prevent Sexual Violence Initiative, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. She has also tackled humanitarian issues in films such as “A Mighty Heart” and her directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”
The board of governors decided on these honorees at a meeting Tuesday night, but Acad officials held off on an announcement until late Thursday morning so they could personally notify the recipients.
Boone Isaacs produced last year’s event, held Dec. 1. The honorees were four American men: Hal Needham, D.A. Pennebaker, George Stevens Jr. and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Recipients in the first three years included Jean-Luc Godard, Roger Corman, Lauren Bacall, John Calley, Kevin Brownlow and Oprah Winfrey.