On November 14, four extraordinary individuals were honored at the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards event. Producer-executive John Calley received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, and Honorary Awards went to actress Lauren Bacall, producer-director Roger Corman and cinematographer Gordon Willis.
“These four individuals have each, in their own unique way, made lasting impressions on the motion picture industry and audiences worldwide,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. ”I’m thrilled that the Academy’s Board selected them to be honored at our new Governors Awards event, which will be full of memorable moments celebrating their accomplishments.”
Born in New York, Bacall made her screen debut with Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not” in 1944. She subsequently starred in more than 30 films, including such classics as “The Big Sleep,” “Key Largo,” “How to Marry a Millionaire,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” and “Misery.” Bacall earned an Oscar® nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in “The Mirror Has Two Faces” (1996).
Like Irving Thalberg, Calley has functioned both as a studio executive and as a producer. His producing credits include such worldwide hits as “Postcards from the Edge,” “The Remains of the Day,” for which he earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination, “Closer,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” and “Angels & Demons.” Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, he began his lengthy career in the motion picture industry at Filmways, Inc. in 1960 as an executive vice president and subsequently held top positions at Warner Bros., United Artists Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Corman is the director and producer of such notable low-budget films as “It Conquered the World,” “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960), “The Intruder,” “The Raven,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Wild Angels,” and “The Trip.” He has directed more than 50 films and produced more than 300 during his five-decade career. In addition to his own credits, Corman is widely known for the opportunities he provided as a producer to a number of filmmakers as they embarked on their careers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard.
Willis, a two-time Academy Award® nominee for “Zelig” and “The Godfather, Part III,” has lensed more than 30 films including “The Godfather,” “The Godfather Part II,” “All the President’s Men,” “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan.” As director of photography, he has collaborated with such directors as Woody Allen, Coppola and Alan J. Pakula. Born in New York City, he shot his first feature, “End of the Road,” in 1970.
The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
The Thalberg Award, a bust of the motion picture executive, is given to “a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”
The Governors Awards presentation will be produced for the Academy by Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen.