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Oprah Winfrey chosen to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award It’s just been announced that Oprah Winfrey will be presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in November at its Governors Awards.

The Humanitarian Award is named after a Danish-born actor who helped form the Motion Picture Relief Fund in 1939 and is given to an individual “whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

While her philanthropic work is well-known, Winfrey is seen as a curious choice to some for an award from the Academy. While she was nominated for an Oscar back in 1986 in the supporting actress category for her performance in The Color Purple, she has acted in just three feature films and has produced or executive produced three others.

Academy President Tom Sherak pointed out that Winfrey is an Academy member who has produced movies and has been nominated for an Academy Award.

“It has nothing to do with how many movie credits she has,” he said. “It has to do with the fact that she is one of us, she is a member and … she was one of the 50 most generous philanthropists in Business Week; as an individual performer she has given over $500 million of her own money to charity.”

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