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Film Academy to Fete Michael J. Fox, Peter Weir, Diane Warren and Euzhan Palcy With Honorary Oscars at Governors Awards


Back to the Future
Image via Universal Pictures

Following a vote among its Board of Governors, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced it will present Michael J. Fox with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Governors Awards, where it will also present Honorary Awards to Euzhan PalcyDiane Warren, and director Peter Weir.

The four Oscar statuettes will be presented at the Academy’s 13th Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Los Angeles.

“The Academy’s Board of Governors is honored to recognize four individuals who have made indelible contributions to cinema and the world at large,” said Academy President David Rubin. “Michael J. Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions. Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering filmmaker whose groundbreaking significance in international cinema is cemented in film history. Diane Warren’s music and lyrics have magnified the emotional impact of countless motion pictures and inspired generations of musical artists. Peter Weir is a director of consummate skill and artistry whose work reminds us of the power of film to reveal the full range of human experience.”

Fox shot to fame playing Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties before landing his iconic role as Marty McFly in Robert Zemeckis‘ classic Back to the Future. Fox returned to television on Spin City, for which he won another Emmy, and his other notable credits include The American President, Casualties of War, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Doc Hollywood, The Good Wife, The Hard Way, Rescue Me, The Secret of My Success, In 2000, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which is now the leading Parkinson’s organization in the world. He is also the author of four bestselling books and the subject of an upcoming documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim.

Honorary Oscars 2022
Image via AMPAS

Palcy is a writer, director and producer born in Martinique in the French West Indies. Her first feature film, Sugar Cane Alley, won the Silver Lion at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, a first for a Black director.  It went on to win a César Award for Best First Work, the first César won by a woman director and by a Black filmmaker. She continued her journey with the 1989 drama A Dry White Season, which was made at the height of apartheid, becoming the first Black woman to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio and guiding Marlon Brando to his last Oscar nomination. Palcy has been an inspiration to filmmakers and other contemporary artists and writers, and her films also include the musical fairytale Siméon.

Warren is a prolific songwriters who has written original songs for more than 100 films. She has earned 13 Oscar nominations for original songs such as “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” “Because You Loved Me,” “How Do I Live,” “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” “Til It Happens To You” and “Stand Up for Something.” She has collaborated with such prominent music artists as Beyoncé, Cher, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Reba McEntire, and Carlos Santana.

A leading figure in the Australian New Wave film movement in the 1970s, Weir emerged as a visionary filmmaker with Picnic at Hanging Rock. He went on to earn Oscar nominations for directing Witness, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, for which he also received a Best Picture nomination. His other notable films include The Way Back, Fearless, The Mosquito Coast, The Year of Living Dangerously, Gallipoli, and The Last Wave.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.” Meanwhile, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which is also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

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