Angela Bassett and Mel Brooks Receive Honorary Oscars at Governors Awards

Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks and Carol Littleton will receive honorary Oscars at this year’s Governors Awards, announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additionally, Michelle Satter of the Sundance Institute will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards. The four statuettes will be presented at the 14th annual ceremony on Saturday, November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles.

“The Academy’s Board of Governors is thrilled to honor four pioneers who transformed the film industry and inspired generations of filmmakers and moviegoers,” said Academy President Janet Yang. “Throughout her decades-long career, Angela Bassett has continued to deliver transcendent performances that set new standards in acting. Mel Brooks illuminates our hearts with her humor and her legacy has had a lasting impact on all facets of entertainment. Carol Littleton’s career in film editing serves as a model for those who come after her. A pillar of the independent film community, Michelle Satter has played a vital role in the careers of countless filmmakers around the world.

The honorary award is “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, outstanding contributions to the state of the motion picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to the Academy”.

Veteran actor Bassett has been a beloved figure in Hollywood for over 40 years in film and television. She received her first Best Actress Oscar nomination for her stunning portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (1993). She recently spoke with Variety reflection on the film which celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Most recently, for her ferocious turn as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (2022), she landed her second supporting actress nomination, making history as the first actor in a movie. Marvel Studios and first female superhero. film, to receive acting recognition. Many of his notable film credits have been tied to historic ones in Academy history, such as “Boyz N the Hood” (1991), for which John Singleton became the first black filmmaker and the most youngest ever, nominated for Best Director and “Black Panther,” the first superhero film nominated for Best Picture. Other career highlights include “Malcolm X” (1992), “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998), “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018), and “Soul” (2020).

A seven-time Emmy-nominated performer, her television work has been extensive with revered turns in “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” “The Rosa Parks Story,” and “American Horror Story.” She has two submissions in this year’s race: lead dramatic actress for Fox’s “9-1-1” and narrator for the documentary “Good Night Oppy.”

Read: Variety Awards Circuit for the latest Primetime Emmy predictions across all categories.

Legendary director, producer, writer, songwriter and actor Mel Brooks began his career writing comedy routines for Sid Caesar’s TV shows and co-creating the classic “Get Smart” series. His comedic talent is one of the few moments of significant recognition in Academy history, showcased by his hilarious debut feature as director and screenwriter “The Producers” (1967) with Gene Wilder, which won him won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (beating moviegoers darlings “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Faces”). It was later adapted into the hit Broadway musical, which set the record for most Tony wins with 12, including three for Brooks. Other highlights of his Hollywood career were his 1974 double hits of “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” which earned him two names for the original song and adapted screenplay.

Brooks, 96, is currently just one of 18 people to have achieved EGOT status (earning competitive wins at the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars and Tony Awards). This year, he’s also in the Emmy discussion as producer and narrator of his long-awaited sequel “History of the World, Part II.”

Littleton’s career as a film editor spans nearly five decades. She earned her only Academy Award nomination for Best Picture Editing for Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic “ET the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982); his other notable credits include “The Big Chill” (1983), “Places in the Heart” (1984), and “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004). She was a member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees for the Motion Picture Editors Branch and President and Vice President of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. She also sits on the board of American Cinema Editors.

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to a person in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought honor to the industry.”

Satter is the founding Senior Director of Artist Programs at Sundance Institute, which focuses on the cultural impact of supporting independent storytellers. For more than 40 years, she has discovered and nurtured the careers of hundreds of notable and award-winning filmmakers within the nonprofit, many of whom come from underrepresented communities. Satter has also led Sundance Institute’s international initiatives in Asia, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East, in addition to being a founder and overseer of Sundance Collab, a global digital storytelling community. and a learning platform.

Read: Variety Awards Circuit for the latest Oscar predictions across all categories.

Last year, the Governors Awards presented Michael J. Fox with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, along with honorary Oscars for Euzhan Palcy, Diane Warren and Peter Weir.

The 96th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

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