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French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, master Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and screen siren Maureen O’Hara have been chosen as recipients of honorary Academy Awards. Harry Belafonte, the singer, actor and civil rights leader, will be honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
The honors were voted Tuesday night at a meeting of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The awards will be presented at the sixth annual Governors Awards on Nov. 8 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.
O’Hara, known for her flaming red hair and fiery onscreen performances, is a native of Dublin who came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She went on to appear in swashbucklers like The Black Swan and Sinbad the Sailor, dramas such as This Land Is Mine and A Woman’s Secret, the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street and five John Ford-directed films, including How Green Was My Valley, Rio Grande and The Quiet Man.
Miyazaki, known for his imaginative, animated films that fuse a sense of fantasy with an appreciation of nature, is a three-time Oscar nominee in the animated feature film category, which he won in 2002 for Spirited Away. He was also nominated for Howl’s Moving Castle in 2006 and The Wind Rises last year. Revered in the world of animation, he is the co-founder of Tokyo’s Studio Ghibli.
Carriere, who began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Etaix, with whom he shared an Oscar for the 1962 live-action short Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary). He then began a two-decade collaboration with director Luis Bunuel, receiving nominations for the screenplays he wrote for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and That Obscure Object of Desire. He earned a fourth nomination for 1988’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, directed by Philip Kaufman.
Belafonte, a native of Harlem, found success as a singer and performer, becoming known as the King of Calypso, before segueing into films, starring in such movies as Carmen Jones, Odds Against Tomorrow and The World, the Flesh and the Devil. He was an early and very visible supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, where he marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. In 1987, he was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and he currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies.
Honorary awards are given for lifetime achievements, exceptional contributions to motion picture arts and sciences, and outstanding service to the Academy.
The Hersholt Award is an Oscar statuette given to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”
Last year’s honorees included Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and costume designer Piero Tosi as well as Angelina Jolie, who received the Hersholt Award.
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