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Honorary Oscars: Lauren Bacall, Gordon Willis & Roger Corman

Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, and Gordon Willis have been chosen by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be the next recipients of the Academy's Honorary Award. Additionally, producer-executive John Calley will be given the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

Previously, special awards were handed out at the Oscar ceremony, but from this year onward they will be presented at the Governors Awards ceremony. The first-ever such event will take place on Saturday, November 14, at the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.

This year's honorees:

Lauren Bacall has one Academy Award nomination to her credit: her stern mom in Barbra Streisand's much panned (and surprisingly enjoyable) 1996 melodramatic romantic comedy The Mirror Has Two Faces. Everyone was sure that Bacall was going to win that year's best supporting actress Oscar – which ended up going to Juliette Binoche, the de facto female lead in The English Patient.

Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire
Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire

Among Bacall's best-known film appearances are her pairings with Humphrey BogartTo Have and Have Not (1945), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948) – plus How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Woman's World (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), Designing Woman (1957), Harper (1966), The Fan (1981), and Dogville (2003).

The 85-year-old actress remains active. She has three movies scheduled to come out in 2010: Carmel, Wild Blue Yonder, and Firedog.

Roger Corman is the director and producer of numerous low-budget cult classics, among them It Conquered the World (1956), Teenage Doll (1957), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), House of Usher (1960), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Wild Angels (1966), and The Trip (1967).

In addition to giving lots of employment to Vincent Price, Corman is also credited for opening the door to a number of young filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard.

Manhattan by Woody Allen

Cinematographer Gordon Willis has received a mere two Academy Award nominations: for Zelig and The Godfather: Part III. Among the Willis-shot films that didn't make the Academy cut were Klute (1971), The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), All the President's Men (1976), Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (above, 1979), and The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985).

Among the films John Calley has produced are The Loved One (1965), Castle Keep (1969), Postcards from the Edge (1990), best picture-nominee The Remains of the Day (1993), Closer (2004), The Da Vinci Code (2005), and Angels & Demons (2009). Additionally, Calley held top posts at Warner Bros., United Artists, and Sony Pictures.

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.”

         
Honorary Oscars: Lauren Bacall, Gordon Willis & Roger Corman © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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