7:24am PT by Scott Feinberg
Santa Barbara Film Fest: 'The Butler' Star Oprah Winfrey to Receive Montecito Award
Oprah Winfrey will receive the Montecito Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, it was announced Tuesday.
The 59-year-old showbiz legend -- who is, appropriately enough, a part-time resident of Montecito, which is in Santa Barbara County -- will be honored on Feb. 5 at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre as part of the festival's 29th edition, which runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 9.
Winfrey, who received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for her big-screen debut in The Color Purple 28 years ago and was the recipient of the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award two years ago, recently earned some of the best reviews of her acting career -- and considerable best supporting actress Oscar buzz -- for her work in this summer's blockbuster Lee Daniels' The Butler.
The SBIFF's Montecito Award honors "a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances throughout his/her career." Previous recipients include Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Javier Bardem, Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore, Geoffrey Rush and Daniel Day-Lewis.
"Ms. Winfrey, the actress, inhabits Gloria Gaines with such gusto – she makes you forget Oprah the impresario,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said in a statement. “Her performance is career-defining and reason to rejoice."
The fest previously announced that it will honor Blue Jasmine's Cate Blanchett with its Outstanding Performer of the Year Award and Winfrey's Butler costar Forest Whitaker with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. Additional announcements are expected shortly.