The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (August 25) to present Honorary Awards to Spike Lee and Gena Rowlands, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Debbie Reynolds. All three awards will be presented at the Academy’s 7th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 14, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.
“The Board is proud to recognize our honorees’ remarkable contributions at this year’s Governors Awards,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’ll be celebrating their achievements with the knowledge that the work they have accomplished – with passion, dedication and a desire to make a positive difference – will also enrich future generations.”
Lee, a champion of independent film and an inspiration to young filmmakers, made an auspicious debut with his NYU thesis film, “Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads,” which won a Student Academy Award® in 1983. He proceeded to blaze a distinctive trail with such features as “She’s Gotta Have It,” “School Daze” and “Do the Right Thing,” which earned him a 1989 Oscar® nomination for Original Screenplay. His work as a director ranges from the Oscar-nominated documentary feature “4 Little Girls” to such mainstream successes as “Malcolm X” and “Inside Man.” Lee’s other feature credits include “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Jungle Fever,” “Crooklyn,” “He Got Game,” “25th Hour,” “Miracle at St. Anna” and “Red Hook Summer.” He currently serves as the artistic director of the graduate film program at NYU.
Rowlands, an original talent whose devotion to her craft has earned her worldwide recognition as an independent film icon, received Academy Award nominations for her lead performances in “A Woman under the Influence” (1974) and “Gloria” (1980), both directed by her husband and frequent collaborator, John Cassavetes. She got her start on the New York stage and in live television in the 1950s and has appeared in 40 feature films to date, from “The High Cost of Loving” in 1958 to “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks,” which she starred in earlier this year. Her other notable films include “Lonely Are the Brave,” “Faces,” “Minnie and Moskowitz,” “Opening Night,” “Another Woman,” “Unhook the Stars,” “Hope Floats,” “Playing by Heart,” “The Notebook” and “Broken English.”
Reynolds, a Hollywood icon since she won hearts with her buoyant performance in “Singin’ in the Rain,” embarked on the role of a lifetime as […]