Honorary Oscars 2012

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hal Needham, D.A. Pennebaker, and George Stevens Jr. have been chosen by the board of governors to receive honorary Oscars, and Jeffrey Katzenberg has been chosen for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Needham is most famous for his stunt coordination (although there is currently no Oscar for stunt work) on films like Blazing Saddles, Camelot and Chinatown. He went on to direct Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run and others.

Pennebaker has covered several musical icons in his documentaries – Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and David Bowie all got the true story treatment from him – but it was for his Bill Clinton 1992 campaign team doc The War Room that earned him his only Oscar nomination (he lost out to I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary).

Stevens Jr. is also a previous Oscar nominee for his short documentary The Five Cities in June, but he’s perhaps best known as the founder of the American Film Institute and the producer of several television programs as well as the movie The Thin Red Line.

Katzenberg is, of course, the co-founder of DreamWorks and an Oscar nominee himself (when Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was considered for Best Animated) but he’s being honored here for his philanthropic work. He joins past winners Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey.


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