The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks, and Carol Littleton will be receiving honorary Oscars at this year’s Governors Awards.
Additionally, Michelle Satter from the Sundance Institute will be honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
The prestigious awards will be presented at the 14th annual ceremony on November 18, 2023, in Los Angeles.
Academy President Janet Yang expressed the board’s excitement about honoring these four trailblazers, acknowledging their transformative contributions to the film industry and their ability to inspire generations of filmmakers and movie enthusiasts.
Angela Bassett, known for her remarkable performances spanning several decades, has set new standards in acting through her transcendent portrayals. Mel Brooks, with his humor and enduring legacy, has left an indelible mark on all aspects of entertainment. Carol Littleton, a prominent figure in film editing, has provided a model for future generations in the field. Michelle Satter, a pillar of the independent film community, has played a vital role in nurturing the careers of numerous filmmakers worldwide.
The Honorary Award is bestowed to recognize extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to the Academy.
Angela Bassett, a veteran actor who has captivated audiences in both film and television for over four decades, received her first Oscar nomination for her remarkable portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (1993).
Recently, she made history as the first actor from a Marvel Studios film and the first woman from a superhero movie to receive acting recognition, earning her second nomination for supporting actress in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (2022).
Throughout her career, Bassett has been associated with several notable films, including “Boyz N the Hood” (1991), which marked John Singleton’s historic nomination as the first Black filmmaker for best director, and “Black Panther,” the first superhero movie nominated for best picture.
Her television work, including appearances in “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” “The Rosa Parks Story,” and “American Horror Story,” has also garnered critical acclaim. This year, she has submitted for consideration in the lead drama actress category for Fox’s “9-1-1” and as a narrator for the documentary “Good Night Oppy.”
Mel Brooks, a legendary director, producer, writer, songwriter, and actor, began his career by crafting comedy routines for Sid Caesar’s television shows and co-creating the iconic series “Get Smart.”
His comedic genius is evident in his directorial and screenwriting debut feature, “The Producers” (1967), which won him the Oscar for best original screenplay. Notably, this victory came over esteemed films such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Faces.”
“The Producers” was later adapted into a highly successful Broadway musical, setting a record with 12 Tony wins, three of which were awarded to Brooks.
His Hollywood career boasts other notable highlights, including the 1974 hits “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” which garnered him nominations for original song and adapted screenplay.
At the age of 96, Mel Brooks currently holds EGOT status, having earned competitive wins from Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. This year, he is also being discussed in Emmy circles as a producer and narrator for his long-awaited sequel, “History of the World, Part II.”
Carol Littleton, with a career spanning nearly five decades, has made significant contributions as a film editor. She received her sole Oscar nomination for best film editing for Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982). Her notable credits include “The Big Chill” (1983), “Places in the Heart” (1984), and “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004).
Littleton has served as a member of the Academy’s Board of Governors for the Film Editors Branch and held the positions of president and vice president at the Motion Picture Editors Guild. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of American Cinema Editors.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also presented as an Oscar statuette, recognizes individuals in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry. Michelle Satter, as the founding senior director of the Sundance Institute’s Artist Programs, has focused on the cultural impact of supporting independent storytellers. Over the course of more than 40 years, she has nurtured and discovered the careers of numerous acclaimed filmmakers, particularly those from underrepresented communities. Satter has also led the Sundance Institute’s international initiatives across various regions and played a key role in the establishment and oversight of Sundance Collab, a global digital storytelling community and learning platform.
Last year’s Governors Awards ceremony honored Michael J. Fox with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, while Euzhan Palcy, Diane Warren, and Peter Weir received honorary Oscars.
The 96th Oscars ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 10, 2024.