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Lauren Bacall, producer-executive John Calley, producer-director Roger Corman and Gordon Willis will all be honored at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ inaugural Governors Awards event on Nov. 14 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
Calley will receive the Irving G. Thalbergh Memorial Award, while Bacall, Corman and Willis will be presented with honorary awards, more informally known as honorary Oscars.
In a break with tradition, this year the Academy’s honorary awards will be handed out at the new event in November.
While the awards will be acknowledged during the Oscarcast on March 7, the show won’t devote the same amount of time to toasting the honorees on air as in past years.
The Academy’s rules allow as many as four honorees per year, although most years the Academy’s board of governors hasn’t chosen to single out that many individuals.
But in its vote Thursday night, the board of governors filled all four allowable slots to assemble a starry, diverse and distinguished group.
“These four individuals have each, in their own unique way, made lasting impressions on the motion picture industry and audiences worldwide,” said newly elected Academy president Tom Sherak.
The recipient of the Thalberg Award, which is reserved for “creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production,” Calley has worked as both studio executive and producer.
He was nominated in 1994 for best picture for “The Remains of the Day,” and his credits include “Postcards From the Edge,” “Closer,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Jane Austen Book Club” and this summer’s “Angels & Demons.”
As an executive, his career has taken him from Filmways to Warner Bros., where he presided over a particularly creative period at the studio, to United Artists and Sony Pictures.
Bacall made an immediate impression on movie audiences with her first film, 1944’s “To Have and Have Not,” in which she co-starred with Humphrey Bogart, whom she later married.
Nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar in 1997 for “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” she has appeared in more than 30 films, including “The Big Sleep,” “Key Largo,” “How to Marry a Millionaire,” “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Misery.”
Corman has not only directed more than 50 movies and produced more than 300 features, the low-budget film impresario also groomed a whole generation of filmmakers — Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard, among them — by giving them their first jobs.
His own films have included “It Conquered the World,” “The Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Intruder,” “The Raven,” “The Masque of Red Death,” “The Wild Angels” and “The Trip.”
Noted cinematographer Willis earned Oscar nominations for “Zelig” and the “The Godfather, Part III,” but he also put his stamp on such works as shadowy ‘70s movies like the first “Godfather,” “Klute,” “All the President’s Men” and “Manhattan,” as well as such sunnier fare as “Annie Hall.”
The Honorary Awards recognize “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to the Academy.”
In deciding to move the awards to its own special event, separate from the broadcast, a decision that was made in June, former Academy president Sid Ganis explained, “For some years now, the board has struggled to balance the desire to truly honor worthy individuals with the time limitations that the Oscar telecast imposes on these honors. By creating a separate event for recognizing these outstanding people in the movie industry, we’re ensuring that each honoree will be given his or her full due, without compromise.”
The most recent previous recipients of the honors were Jerry Lewis (Hersholt Award) at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony in February, Robert Boyle (Honorary Award) at the 80th Oscars in 2008 and Dino De Laurentiis (Thalberg Award) at the 73rd ceremony in 2001.
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