The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will bestow actor/singer/producer Harry Belafonte with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at a stand-alone ceremony on Nov. 8 in Hollywood. French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, Japanese animated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, and actress Maureen O’Hara will also receive honorary Oscars for their lifetime contributions to film at the sixth annual ceremony to be held separately from the annual Oscar telecast.
“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”
Belafonte’s more than six-decade career has often been defined by film projects that highlighted racism and inequality, including the musical Carmen Jones (1954) , the noir film Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) and the sci-fi film The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959). Off screen, Belafonte also marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987. Recent Hersholt recipients include Angelina Jolie and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Miyazaki won an Oscar in 2003 in the Animated Feature Film category for his film Spirited Away. His films Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and The Wind Rises (2013) were also nominated.
Carriere also won an Oscar for the 1962 live action short Happy Anniversary. He received two more nominations for the screenplays The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and That Obscure Object of Desire—two films directed by Luis Brunuel, whom Carriere collaborated with for two decades.
The one female honorary Oscar recipient this year is Maureen O’Hara, the Irish actress who first debuted in Hollywood in 1939’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Best known for her role in Miracle on 34th St., O’Hara was also a favorite of director John Ford, appearing in five of his movies, including How Green Was My Valley. The 94-year old actress was never nominated for an Academy Awards.
The 6th Annual Governors Awards will be held at the same location as the Oscars Governor’s Ball, the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.