Governors Awards 2011: Academy Honors Oprah, James Earl Jones, Dick Smith
12:25 PM PST 11/13/2011 by Sofia M. Fernandez, Rebecca Ford
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 3rd annual event drew Oscar winners and hopefuls like Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close and Diablo Cody. The emotional proceedings took place Nov. 13 in Los Angeles and were not televised.
The Help actress Viola Davis attended the third annual Governors Awards, at which honorary Oscars were presented to actor James Earl Jones (in absentia) and makeup artist Dick Smith and actress/producer/philanthropist Oprah Winfrey received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
30 Rock star Alec Baldwin, who played Jack Ryan opposite honoree James Earl Jones' Adm. James Greer in The Hunt for Red October (1990), participated in Jones' tribute. “I wanted James Earl Jones’s career – that’s what every actor wants," Baldwin said during his speech.
John Travolta, with his wife Kelly Preston, both attended the event, where Travolta, a longtime friend of Oprah Winfrey, credited Winfrey for helping him to see the world differently and more hopefully by looking at it through her eyes.
Linda Blair opened the tribute for makeup artist Dick Smith. Smith created the makeup for Blair in her starring role in The Exorcist (1973). “For me, it was not as much fun as I think it was for Dick,” she recalled fondly. “It was not a little girl’s dream.”
Rita Wilson and Maria Shriver posed together for photos. Shriver spoke during the tribute for Oprah Winfrey, whom she first met and befriended 33 years ago when both were working on local television. "She likes to give to her family, to her friends, to her community and to her country. She’s always thinking how she can help others,” Shriver said of Winfrey.
Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who wrote Clint Eastwood's recently released biopic J. Edgar, attended Saturday's ceremony.
Former director of Spider-Man: Turn Off the DarkJulie Taymor, who is currently involved in a lawsuit claiming that she's owed more than $500,000 in royalties from the production, attended Saturday's event.
Screenwriter Diablo Cody smiled for the cameras. Her next project starring Charlize Theron, Young Adult, is due in theaters on Dec. 16.
Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender
Director Steve McQueen and star Michael Fassbender of Shame walked the carpet together before the Governors Awards. While McQueen controversial and shocking film, following the turbulent life of a sex addict (Fassbender) is challenged with an NC17 rating, there has still been Oscar buzz for the Fox Searchlight film.
Woodley, 19, broke out on the series The O.C. and Crossing Jordan and in 2008 got the lead in ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Eighteen months ago, her character "went to New York" so Woodley could film The Descendants with George Clooney in Hawaii. Woodley is a member of THR's Next Gen Class of 2011 as well.
Michel Hazanavicius, Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin
A French black-and-white silent film as Oscar contender? Oui! Director MichelHazanavicius, left, with stars Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin, has made a crowd pleaser that's already picking up critics' and festival awards.
The Bridesmaids and Mike & Molly star -- and recent Emmy winner -- is teaming with The Help director Tate Taylor on the comedy project Tammy, which is set up at New Line. McCarthy and Taylor, who have know each other from their time in the comedy group The Groundlings, have been working together on the project for a few months.
Academy president Tom Sherak kicked off the proceedings dressed as Darth Vadar. He also offered the evening's only public acknowledgement of the Oscar show near meltdown, beginning his remarks by asking, “How was your week?,” to a round of laughter.
He took a moment to remember Laura Ziskin, who died in June, and Gil Cates, who died Oct. 31. Both had produced Oscar shows.