Four Hollywood veterans will soon receive honorary Oscars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the announcement Thursday, saying Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullmann will be presented with Oscars statuettes at the Governors Awards. Danny Glover, a longtime social justice and political activist, will receive the organization’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
“We are thrilled to present this year’s Governors Awards to four honorees who have had a profound impact on both film and society,” Academy President David Rubin said in a statement. “Sam Jackson is a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide, while Elaine May’s bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director and actress, reverberates as loudly as ever with movie lovers. Liv Ullmann’s bravery and emotional transparency has gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals, and Danny Glover’s decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen.”
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Honorary Oscars are 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.”
Meanwhile, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscars statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
Samuel L. Jackson launched his movie career in the 1970s. Since then, he’s appeared in more than 100 films ranging from indies to blockbusters. He earned an Oscar nomination for his supporting performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994). A longtime Spike Lee collaborator, he also has appeared in the director’s films School Daze, Jungle Fever, Mo’ Better Blues, Do the Right Thing and Chi-Raq. Among Jackson’s other credits are Shaft, Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, and Jackie Brown; as well as the films Black Snake Moan, Unbreakable, Eve’s Bayou, and a string of blockbusters.
Elaine May made her mark as the writer, director and co-star of A New Leaf (1971). Her other directing credits include The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Mikey and Nicky (1976), and Ishtar (1987). Among her screenwriting credits are The Birdcage (1996), and she received Oscar nominations for the adapted screenplays of Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Primary Colors (1998).
Liv Ullmann began her career as a stage actress in her native Norway. She rose to international prominence in Persona, the first film she made with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Their other notable collaborations included The Passion of Anna, Cries and Whispers and Autumn Sonata. Ullmann received Oscar nominations for Best Actress for The Emigrants (1971) and Face to Face (1976). She made her directorial debut in 1992 with Sofie and later directed Faithless, from a script by Bergman.
Danny Glover first caught the attention of movie audiences in The Color Purple (1985). He would later star opposite Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon films. He has also appeared in To Sleep with Anger (1990), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Dreamgirls (2006), Beyond the Lights (2014), Sorry to Bother You (2018), and The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019). A lifelong community activist, he has been a vocal advocate for economic justice, access to health care and education in the United States and Africa. He has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program and is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
The four honorary Oscars statuettes will be presented at the Academy’s 12th Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Friday, March 25, 2022. The awards had previously been scheduled for January 2022, but were postponed because of the pandemic.