The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has selected the film legends that will receive honorary Academy Awards for the 2014 Governors Awards. The 2014 honorees are legendary actress Maureen O’Hara, animation innovator Hayao Miyazaki, French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriére; the recipient of the 2014 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be Harry Belafonte. This marks the sixth year that the honorary Oscars have been handed outside the main Academy Awards telecast. The decision to create a separate ceremony began in 2009 in an effort to properly acknowledge and respect the legends and contributors of cinema without trying to shoehorn the festivities onto the Oscar telecast. This year’s Governors Award will take place at the Dolby Ballroom on November 8, 2014.
O’Hara, currently 94 years-old, is one of the most beloved and enduring actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The Dublin native, most known for her frequent collaborations with director John Ford and star John Wayne, started her career in Hollywood in 1938. She appeared in more than 50 features including The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), A Bill of Divorcement (1940), Best Picture winner How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Black Swan (1942), Miracle on 42nd Street (1947), The Quiet Man (1952) and The Parent Trap (1961.) Throughout her illustrious career, she was never once nominated for an Academy Award, but has proved a spirited and sprightly presence despite being retired for over a decade now. She recently made an appearance at TCM Classic Film Festival, taking part in a tribute to How Green Was My Valley.
Miyazaki, aged 73, the ingenious Japanese animator whose filmography includes directing Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997) and Spirited Away (2001.) He has been nominated for three Academy Awards throughout his career, all in the Best Animated Feature category, winning the prize for 2001’s fantasy adventure, Spirited Away. He was up for the prize just this past year for The Wind Rises, a film that concentrated on the life of the man who designed Japanese fighter planes for World War II. Consensus suggested the film was one of the most mature and personal films of Miyazaki’s career; it also may be his last as the filmmaker/animation legend is considering retirement.
Carriére, aged 83, is a French writer who has worked steady in feature films since the early 1960s. He’s also contributed to some of the most acclaimed international films ever brought to the screen. Carriére began his career as a novelist, but was introduced into films by filmmaker Pierre Étaix– the two shared an Academy Award for their 1962 short film Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary.) Carriére contributed mightily to the screen in a two decade collaboration with French great Luis Bunuel, penning the screenplays for classics The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Obscure Object of Desire, both of which earned Carrére and Bunuel Oscar nominations for screenplay. He also contributed to the screenplays of film classics Belle du Jour (1967), The Tin Drum (1979), Valmont (1989), Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), a film in which he earned his fourth Oscar nomination. He recently penned the 2004 Nicole Kidman film Birth for director Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin) and the 2007 movie Goya’s Ghosts for Milos Foreman.
Belafonte, aged 87, is an Emmy-award winning actor, producer, singer and activist. He is receiving the Jean Hersolt Humanitarian Award, celebrating the legend’s lifelong activism, be it as early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and continuous work in raising awareness for children, AIDS research and civil rights. His film works includes iconic roles in Carmen Jones (1954) opposite Dorothy Dandridge in her Oscar-nominated performance, Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) for director Robert Wise, and Robert Altman’s Kansas City (1996.)
Last year, the Academy selected Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin and Italian costume designer Piero Tosi, with Angelina Jolie named as the honoree of the Jean Hersolt Humanitarian Award.