The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to present Honorary Awards to publicist Marvin Levy, composer Lalo Schifrin, and actress Cicely Tyson, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.
The honors will be presented at the Academy’s 10th annual Governors Awards on Nov. 18 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.
“Choosing the honorees for its awards each year is the happiest of all the Board of Governors’ work. And this year, its selection of five iconic artists was made with universal acclaim by the Academy’s 54 spirited governors,” said Academy president John Bailey in a statement released Wednesday.
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.”
The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”
Levy began his career in publicity working for MGM in New York City before joining Columbia Pictures in Hollywood. He’s the first publicist to receive an honorary Oscar and has been partnered with Steven Spielberg since the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He’s held positions at Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Partners, and has worked on publicity campaigns for “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator,” and “Lincoln.”
Schifrin, a native of Argentina, has written scores for more than 100 films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Enter the Dragon,” and “Rush Hour.” His theme for the television series “Mission: Impossible” has been used throughout the six-film series. Schifrin has received six Oscar nominations: for the original scores for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Fox” (1968), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976), and “The Amityville Horror” (1979); the original song “People Alone” from “The Competition” (1980); and the adaptation score for “The Sting II” (1983).
Tyson, who was raised in Harlem, broke out in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968 and received an Academy Award nomination for her leading performance in “Sounder” in 1972. Her other notable film credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross,” and “Last Flag Flying.”
Kennedy is the first woman to receive the Thalberg Award. The Kennedy/Marshall producing partnership, formed in 1991, has generated best picture nominations for “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Seabiscuit” (2003), “Munich” (2005), and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). Kennedy/Marshall Company productions also include “Congo,” all five “Bourne” films, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Prior to forming Kennedy/Marshall, the duo co-founded Amblin Productions with Spielberg, sharing a best picture nomination for “The Color Purple” (1985).
Additionally, Marshall received a best picture nomination for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), while Kennedy was nominated in the same category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “War Horse” (2011), and “Lincoln” (2012).
Kennedy and Marshall are the first recipients of the Thalberg award since it was presented to Francis Ford Coppola in 2010.