Who should receive an honorary Oscar this year?

We are just a few weeks away from learning who will be receiving honorary Oscars this year. Who do you think should be added to this honor roll? Weight in with your thoughts here

Since the academy shifted these honorary kudos from the telecast to a separate non-televised ceremony three years ago, they have feted 11 people. 


In 2009, honorary Oscars went to actress Lauren Bacall, cinematographer Gordon Willis and producer Roger Corman while studio executive John Calley received the Thalberg Award. In 2010, honorary Oscars were bestowed on actor Eli Wallach, filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and film historian Kevin Brownlow while Francis Ford Coppola was given the Thalberg. Last year, honorary Oscars were awarded to actor James Earl Jones and makeup pioneer Dick Smith while TV personaility Oprah Winfrey was given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The selection process is fairly straightforward. Members of the board of governors put forth names, with each of the top choices then voted on individually. Honorees must receive support from at least half of those on the board. The usual limit is three honorees. For a fourth person to be feted, he or she needs to garner two-thirds of the votes.

In our forums, MHS kicks off the discussion as to who should be feted this year: 

Here’s someone’s chance to argue anew that they think Angela Lansbury deserves an honorary Oscar. I wrote in the past that my hope was to see Max von Sydow finally get his well-deserved honorary award, but now that he’s been so recently nominated, I’m afraid it might seem like an awkward consolation prize, which is too bad because it wouldn’t be one at all. It just might seem that way to some. “Oh, Max, we forgot you were alive.  I guess we were wrong.” I renew my support for Maureen O’Hara, Leslie Caron and Gena Rowlands. I’ll toss in the names Carlos Saura and Ettore Scola for some international flavor. I don’t see Owen Roizman‘s name on the BoG anymore so he’d be eligible, I guess. I’m not a big fan of Lalo Schifrin‘s music but the Music Branch liked him enough to nominate him in the past.

As Will notes, 

It’s simply disgusting that out of over 100 Honorary Oscar recipients only 9 were women.  The recent increase of annual honorees didn’t help to change that injustice. Since 2009 out of eight Honorary Oscars given out only one went to a woman (Lauren Bacall, 2009). I’m amazed how the lack of female recipients is not an issue with the Academy or press and they do nothing to improve statistic. My personal choices:

1. Angela Lansbury — one of the greatest actresses of her time and one of the last remaining alone active links of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Fifty films, three Oscar nominations a seventy-year career. She will be 87 years old in October. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate. As for her not being a movie star or not having a significant film career, this should even been an argument against her candidacy after they awarded Eli Wallach and her current “The Best Man” co-star James Earl Jones.

2. Jeanne Moreau — a true icon of world’s cinema and one of the most important actresses in film history.

3. Debbie Reynolds — not only for her film career, but also for her effort to preserve Hollywood’s legacy.

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allaboutOscars enthuses,

All signs now lead to Doris Day and i think she has decided to be lauded and accept this honorary Oscar! Bravo. One of the great movie stars of the 50’s and 60’s with a long career in music and TV as well … #1 at box office for most of the last 1/2 of the 50’s , many #1 songs and songs sung by her that are Oscar winning tunes, a fine actress who excelled in comedy but occasionally had a triumph in the drama category (“Midnight Lace,” “Love Me or Leave Me”).

Royal Night weighs in as well, 

I say this every year, but I think that Mia Farrow should be the next recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.  I always thought she was an under-rated actress and she has been doing charitable work before it was cool for actors to do that sort of thing.

And, as Glofish comments, 

I favor Gena Rowlands or Catherine Deneueve (now in her seventies). Anyone else agree? Honoring Rowlands would be a way to honor Cassavettes and Denueve, and Jeanne Moreau, is a legend.


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14 thoughts on “Who should receive an honorary Oscar this year?

  1. Yes, it should be Angela Lansbury!!! She is an amazing actress… movies, TV, & the stage – a true talent!

  2. The legendary 3-time Oscar nominee Angela Lansbury deserves it more than anyone else, IMHO. I can’t think of a more versatile performer in American entertainment industry. Musical, drama, comedy, stage, screen, TV – she has done it all and brilliantly

  3. Ms. Lansbury is talent has no limits and it’s a shame that Hollywood has never fully used her talent like Broadway did (where she is simply in a league all by herself).

  4. She made her first film in 1944 and 70 years after that shows no signs of slowing down – what an amazing career!But above all what really counts is that she a beautiful human being and a true professional.

  5. As for her Oscar noms,I still don’t get how she lost in 1962 for giving one of the best screen performances ever in The Manchurian Candidate.So much for winning GG & the NBR award and being considered a shoo-in

  6. P.S. Fun fact: Ms. Lansbury holds the record for being the youngest 2-time Oscar nominee ever thanks to her back-to-back noms by the age of 20. I imagine that makes her the youngest 2-time nominee period, not just among actors.

  7. John Williams. 47 nominations and only 5 wins. He has been sitting there for over 30 times watching himself lose the award, and he is the best film composer of all time. He should have won 15 times by now and he is getting old.

  8. jerry lewis has an oscar for his charity work and he should get one for his years as a film maker and a comic genius(also doris should get one too)

  9. it should go to a foreign born actor like max von sydow,donald sutherland,albert finney.or even a female foreign born star catherine deneuve,angela lansbury,leslie caron or even an american like doris day.

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