Lansing gets Oscar for humanitarian role


Sherry Lansing, whose long career as a producer and studio executive is rivaled only by her philanthropic commitments, will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The honor will be presented to her Feb. 25 at the 79th Annual Academy Awards, Academy president Sid Ganis said Thursday.

The Hersholt award is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.

The former chairman of Paramount Pictures, Lansing helped Armand Hammer form the nonprofit organization Stop Cancer and serves on its board. She also is on the board of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, founded to honor excellence in basic and clinical science, and is a trustee of the American Association for Cancer Research.

In addition, she serves on the Citizens' Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Stem Cell Research and the American Red Cross Board of Governors Advisory Committee and is a trustee of the Carter Center, a human rights organization formed by President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. She also is a University of California regent.

"Sherry is being honored not only for her passionate work in support of fighting cancer but because the board recognized and remembered the long list of charitable organizations and causes she has served and her long history in serving them," Ganis said. "Sherry has earned enormous respect throughout the industry not only for her successful career as a producer and studio head, but because she has never failed to further devote her enormous energy to the needs of others."

A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Lansing began her Hollywood career as an actress before quickly moving into production. She joined Talent Associates as an exec in charge of development in 1974, moving to MGM in 1975. She joined Columbia Pictures two years later as vp in charge of production. She was named president of 20th Century Fox Prods. in 1980, becoming the first female executive to head production for a studio, and in 1983 formed Jaffe-Lansing Prods. with Stanley Jaffe. After Jaffe was appointed president of Paramount Communications in 1990, Lansing became chair of the Motion Picture Group in 1992 and oversaw the studio until 2005.