Governors Awards Film Series

In celebration of Oprah Winfrey, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient, we presented her Oscar-nominated performance in


"The Color Purple" (1985)

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Introduced by Academy President Tom Sherak.

With remarks from special guest Margaret Avery, who also received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for "The Color Purple."

Video message from Gabourey Sidibe.

Oprah Winfrey demonstrated her versatility and acting skill with her performance as the feisty Sofia in "The Color Purple," the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Winfrey’s powerful screen debut earned her a nomination as Best Supporting Actress.

During her long career in the public eye, Winfrey has established herself as one of the most influential figures in both entertainment and philanthropy. Her legendary generosity has reached across borders to touch the lives of millions, and she has championed a host of social issues. Winfrey has been especially dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and raising awareness of issues affecting women and children.

In the movie world, Winfrey has been a producer or executive producer of socially conscious films such as "Beloved" (1998), in which she also starred, "The Great Debaters" (2007) and "Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire" (2009), which received a Best Picture nomination. Her voice work for animated films includes "Charlotte’s Web" (2006), "Bee Movie" (2007) and "The Princess and the Frog" (2009).

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry. Winfrey was honored at the 3rd annual Governors Awards ceremony this month, along with Honorary Award recipients James Earl Jones and Dick Smith.

“The Color Purple,” directed by Steven Spielberg, received 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Print courtesy of Warner Bros. and the Academy Film Archive. Running time: 152 minutes.

Event Information

November 10, 2011
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
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