Academy Honorary Award

The Academy Honorary Award, instituted in 1948 for the 21st Academy Awards (previously called the Special Award), is given by the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to celebrate motion picture achievements that are not covered by existing Academy Awards, although prior winners of competitive Academy Awards are not excluded from receiving the Honorary Award.[1] Unless otherwise specified, Honorary Award recipients receive the same gold Oscar statuettes received by winners of the competitive Academy Awards.[2] Unlike the Special Achievement Award instituted in 1972, those on whom the Academy confers its Honorary Award do not have to meet "the Academy's eligibility year and deadline requirements."[3] Like the Special Achievement Award, the Special Award and Honorary Award have been used to reward significant achievements of the year that did not fit in existing categories, subsequently leading the Academy to establish several new categories, and to honor exceptional career achievements, contributions to the motion picture industry, and service to the Academy.[4][5][6] The Academy Honorary Award is often awarded in preference to those with noted achievements in motion pictures who have nevertheless never won an Academy Award. Thus, many of its recipients are Classic Hollywood stars, such as Lillian Gish, Barbara Stanwyck, and Lauren Bacall.

Since 2009 the Honorary Award is presented at the annual Governors Awards rather than at the Academy Awards.


[Sources: Years for which the Special Award and Honorary Award recipients received their awards and the annual Academy Awards ceremonies at which they received them provided within parentheses throughout (as pertinent) follow this information for recipients listed in the Official Academy Award Database and Web-based official AMPAS documents.]

Bob Hope was honored on four separate occasions.


Year Recipient Notes Award
1927/1928 Warner Bros.Warner Bros. "for producing The Jazz Singer (1927), the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry." Statuette
Charlie ChaplinCharlie Chaplin "for acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus (1928)."[7] Statuette
1928/1929 No award
1929/1930 No award


Year Recipient Notes Award
1930/1931 No award
1931/1932 Walt DisneyWalt Disney "for the creation of Mickey Mouse." Statuette
1932/1933 No award
1934 Shirley TempleShirley Temple "in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934." Miniature statuette
1935 D. W. GriffithD. W. Griffith "For his distinguished creative achievements as director and producer and his invaluable initiative and lasting contributions to the progress of the motion picture arts." Statuette
1936 The March of TimeMarch of Time "for its significance to motion pictures and for having revolutionized one of the most important branches of the industry – the newsreel."
W. Howard GreeneW. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson "for the color cinematography of the Selznick International Production, The Garden of Allah." Plaque
1937 Edgar BergenEdgar Bergen "for his outstanding comedy creation, 'Charlie McCarthy'." Wooden statuette, with movable mouth
W. Howard GreeneW. Howard Greene "for the color photography of A Star Is Born." Plaque
Museum of Modern ArtMuseum of Modern Art Film Library "for its significant work in collecting films dating from 1895 to the present and for the first time making available to the public the means of studying the historical and aesthetic development of the motion picture as one of the major arts." Scroll certificate
Mack SennettMack Sennett "for his lasting contribution to the comedy technique of the screen, the basic principles of which are as important today as when they were first put into practice, the Academy presents a Special Award to that master of fun, discoverer of stars, sympathetic, kindly, understanding comedy genius – Mack Sennett." Statuette
1938 J. Arthur BallJ. Arthur Ball "for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of color in Motion Picture Photography." Scroll
Walt DisneyWalt Disney "for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [1937], recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon." One statuette and seven miniature statuettes on a stepped base
Deanna DurbinDeanna Durbin and Mickey Rooney "for their significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement." Miniature statuette
Gordon JenningsGordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst "for outstanding achievement in creating Special Photographic and Sound Effects in the Paramount production, Spawn of the North." Plaque
Oliver T. MarshOliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey "for the color cinematography of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production, Sweethearts." Plaque
Harry WarnerHarry Warner "in recognition of patriotic service in the production of historical short subjects presenting significant episodes in the early struggle of the American people for liberty." Scroll
1939 Douglas FairbanksDouglas Fairbanks "recognizing the unique and outstanding contribution of Douglas Fairbanks, first President of the Academy, to the international development of the motion picture." Statuette
Judy GarlandJudy Garland "for her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile during the past year." Miniature statuette
William Cameron MenziesWilliam Cameron Menzies "for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind." Plaque
Motion Picture Relief FundMotion Picture Relief Fund acknowledging the outstanding services to the industry during the past year of the Motion Picture Relief Fund and its progressive leadership. Presented to Jean Hersholt, President; Ralph Morgan, Chairman of the Executive Committee; Ralph Block, First Vice-President; and Conrad Nagel. Plaque
Technicolor SATechnicolor Company "for its contributions in successfully bringing three-color feature production to the screen." Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
1940 Bob HopeBob Hope "in recognition of his unselfish services to the Motion Picture Industry." Silver plaque
Nathan LevinsonNathan Levinson "for his outstanding service to the industry and the Army during the past nine years, which has made possible the present efficient mobilization of the motion picture industry facilities for the production of Army Training Films." Statuette
1941 Walt DisneyWalt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company "for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures through the production of Fantasia." Certificate of Merit
Stokowski, LeopoldLeopold Stokowski and his associates "for their unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music in Walt Disney's production, Fantasia, thereby widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and as an art form. " Certificate of Merit
Scott, ReyRey Scott "for his extraordinary achievement in producing Kukan, the film record of China's struggle, including its photography with a 16mm camera under the most difficult and dangerous conditions.[8]" Certificate of Merit
British Ministry of Information "for its vivid and dramatic presentation of the heroism of the RAF in the documentary film, Target for Tonight. Certificate of Merit
1942 Boyer, CharlesCharles Boyer "for his progressive cultural achievement in establishing the French Research Foundation in Los Angeles as a source of reference for the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry" Certificate of Merit
Coward, NoëlNoël Coward "for his outstanding production achievement in In Which We Serve" Certificate of Merit
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer "for its achievement in representing the American Way of Life in the production of the 'Andy Hardy' series of films." Certificate of Merit
1943 Pal, GeorgeGeorge Pal "for the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons." Plaque; replaced with statuette in 1967
1944 Hope, BobBob Hope "for his many services to the Academy." Life membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[9]
O'Brien, MargaretMargaret O'Brien "outstanding child actress of 1944." Miniature Statuette (presented in 1946)
1945 Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg and the Republic Studio Sound Department "for the building of an outstanding musical scoring auditorium which provides optimum recording conditions and combines all elements of acoustic and engineering design. Certificate (presented in 1946)
Wanger, WalterWalter Wanger "for his six years service as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." Special Plaque
The House I Live In tolerance short subject; produced by Frank Ross and Mervyn LeRoy; directed by Mervyn LeRoy; screenplay by Albert Maltz; song "The House I Live In", music by Earl Robinson, lyrics by Lewis Allan; starring Frank Sinatra; released by RKO Radio. Certificate
Garner, Peggy AnnPeggy Ann Garner "outstanding child actress of 1945." Miniature Statuette (presented in 1947)
1946 Russell, HaroldHarold Russell "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in The Best Years of Our Lives" Statuette
Olivier, LaurenceLaurence Olivier "for his outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director in bringing Henry V to the screen." Statuette
Lubitsch, ErnstErnst Lubitsch "for his distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture." Certificate
Jarman, Jr., ClaudeClaude Jarman, Jr. "outstanding child actor of 1946. Miniature Statuette
1947 Baskett, JamesJames Baskett "for his able and heart-warming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and story teller to the children of the world in Walt Disney's Song of the South." Statuette[10]
Thomas Armat, Colonel William N. Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor members of "the small group of pioneers whose belief in a new medium, and whose contributions to its development, blazed the trail along which the motion picture has progressed, in their lifetime, from obscurity to world-wide acclaim." Statuette
Bill and Coo "in which artistry and patience blended in a novel and entertaining use of the medium of motion pictures." Plaque; replaced with Statuette in 1976
Shoe-Shine (Italian: Sciuscià) the high quality of this motion picture, brought to eloquent life in a country scarred by war, is proof to the world that the creative spirit can triumph over adversity. Statuette[11]
1948 Wanger, WalterWalter Wanger "for distinguished service to the industry in adding to its moral stature in the world community by his production of the picture Joan of Arc." Statuette
Monsieur Vincent voted by the Academy Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1948. Statuette
Grauman, SidSid Grauman "master showman, who raised the standard of exhibition of motion pictures." Statuette
Zukor, AdolphAdolph Zukor "a man who has been called the father of the feature film in America, for his services to the industry over a period of forty years." Statuette
1949 Hersholt, JeanJean Hersholt "in recognition of his service to the Academy during four terms as president." Statuette on a square wood base[12]
Astaire, FredFred Astaire "for his unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures." Statuette
DeMille, Cecil B.Cecil B. DeMille "distinguished motion picture pioneer for 37 years of brilliant showmanship." Statuette
The Bicycle Thief (Italian: Ladri di biciclette) voted by the Academy Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1949. Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
1950 Mayer, Louis B.Louis B. Mayer "for distinguished service to the motion picture industry.” Statuette
Murphy, GeorgeGeorge Murphy "for his services in interpreting the film industry to the country at large.” Statuette
The Walls of Malapaga (Italian: Le mura di Malapaga, French: Au-delà des grilles) voted by the Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States in 1950. Statuette
1951 Kelly, GeneGene Kelly "in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film." Statuette
Rashomon voted by the Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1951. Statuette
1952 Cooper, Merian C.Merian C. Cooper "for his many innovations and contributions to the art of motion pictures.” Statuette
Hope, BobBob Hope "for his contribution to the laughter of the world, his service to the motion picture industry, and his devotion to the American premise.” Statuette
Lloyd, HaroldHarold Lloyd "master comedian and good citizen.” Statuette
Mitchell, GeorgeGeorge Mitchell "for the design and development of the camera which bears his name and for his continued and dominant presence in the field of cinematography.” Statuette
Schenck, Joseph M.Joseph M. Schenck "for long and distinguished service to the motion picture industry.” Statuette
Forbidden Games (French: Jeux interdits) Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1952. Statuette
1953 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation "in recognition of their imagination, showmanship and foresight in introducing the revolutionary process known as CinemaScope.” Statuette
Bell and Howell Company "for their pioneering and basic achievements in the advancement of the motion picture industry.” Statuette
Breen, JosephJoseph Breen "for his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code Statuette
Smith, PetePete Smith "for his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of 'Pete Smith Specialties'.” Statuette
1954 Bausch & Lomb Optical Company "for their contributions to the advancement of the motion picture industry.” Statuette
Kaye, DannyDanny Kaye "for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.” Statuette
Niver, KempKemp Niver "for the development of the Renovare Process which has made possible the restoration of the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection.” Statuette
Garbo, GretaGreta Garbo "for her unforgettable screen performances.” Statuette
Whiteley, JonJon Whiteley "for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers Miniature Statuette
Winter, VincentVincent Winter "for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers Miniature Statuette
Gate of Hell (Japanese: Jigokumon) Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1954. Statuette
1955 Samurai, The Legend of Musashi Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1955. Statuette
1956 Cantor, EddieEddie Cantor “for distinguished service to the film industry.” Statuette
1957 Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) "for their contributions to the advancement of the motion picture industry.” Statuette
Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson "motion picture pioneer, for his contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment.” Statuette
Brackett, CharlesCharles Brackett "for outstanding service to the Academy.” Statuette
Kahane, B. B.B. B. Kahane "for distinguished service to the motion picture industry.” Statuette
1958 Chevalier, MauriceMaurice Chevalier “for his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.” Statuette
1959 Keaton, BusterBuster Keaton "for his unique talents which brought immortal comedies to the screen.” Statuette
de Forest, LeeLee de Forest "for his pioneering inventions which brought sound to the motion picture.” Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
1960 Gary CooperGary Cooper "for his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry." Statuette
Stan LaurelStan Laurel "for his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy." Statuette
Hayley MillsHayley Mills "for Pollyanna, the most outstanding juvenile performance during 1960." Miniature Statuette
1961 William L. HendricksWilliam L. Hendricks "for his outstanding patriotic service in the conception, writing and production of the Marine Corps film, A Force in Readiness, which has brought honor to the Academy and the motion picture industry." Statuette
Fred L. MetzlerFred L. Metzler "for his dedication and outstanding service to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." Statuette
Jerome RobbinsJerome Robbins "for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film." Statuette
1962 No award
1963 No award
1964 William J. TuttleWilliam J. Tuttle "for his outstanding make-up achievement for 7 Faces of Dr. Lao." Statuette
1965 Bob HopeBob Hope "for unique and distinguished service to our industry and the Academy." Gold Medal
1966 Yakima CanuttYakima Canutt "for achievements as a stunt man and for developing safety devices to protect stunt men everywhere." Statuette
Y. Frank FreemanY. Frank Freeman "for unusual and outstanding service to the Academy during his thirty years in Hollywood." Statuette
1967 Arthur FreedArthur Freed "for distinguished service to the Academy and the production of six top-rated Awards telecasts." Statuette
1968 John Chambers (make-up artist)John Chambers "for his outstanding makeup achievement for Planet of the Apes." Statuette
Onna WhiteOnna White "for her outstanding choreography achievement for Oliver!." Statuette
1969 Cary GrantCary Grant "for his unique mastery of the art of screen acting with the respect and affection of his colleagues." Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
1970 Lillian GishLillian Gish "for superlative artistry and for distinguished contribution to the progress of motion pictures." Statuette
Orson WellesOrson Welles "for superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures." Statuette
1971 Charles ChaplinCharles Chaplin "for the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century." Statuette
1972 Charles S. BorenCharles S. Boren "Leader for 38 years of the industry's enlightened labor relations and architect of its policy of non-discrimination. With the respect and affection of all who work in films." Statuette
Edward G. RobinsonEdward G. Robinson * "who achieved greatness as a player, a patron of the arts and a dedicated sum, a Renaissance man. From his friends in the industry he loves." Statuette
1973 Henri LangloisHenri Langlois "for his devotion to the art of film, his massive contributions in preserving its past and his unswerving faith in its future." Statuette
Groucho MarxGroucho Marx "in recognition of his brilliant creativity and for the unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers in the art of motion picture comedy." Statuette
1974 Howard HawksHoward Hawks "A master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema." Statuette
Jean RenoirJean Renoir "a genius who, with grace, responsibility and enviable devotion through silent film, sound film, feature, documentary and television, has won the world's admiration." Statuette
1975 Mary PickfordMary Pickford "in recognition of her unique contributions to the film industry and the development of film as an artistic medium." Statuette
1976 No award
1977 Margaret BoothMargaret Booth "for her exceptional contribution to the art of film editing in the motion picture industry." Statuette
1978 Walter LantzWalter Lantz "for bringing joy and laughter to every part of the world through his unique animated motion pictures." Statuette
Laurence OlivierLord Laurence Olivier "for the full body of his work, for the unique achievements of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film." Statuette
King VidorKing Vidor "for his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator." Statuette
Museum of Modern ArtMuseum of Modern Art Department of Film "for the contribution it has made to the public's perception of movies as an art form." Statuette
1979 Hal EliasHal Elias "for his dedication and distinguished service to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." Statuette
Alec GuinnessSir Alec Guinness "for advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances." Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
1980 Henry FondaHenry Fonda "the consummate actor, in recognition of his brilliant accomplishments and enduring contribution to the art of motion pictures." Statuette
1981 Barbara StanwyckBarbara Stanwyck "for superlative creativity and unique contribution to the art of screen acting." Statuette
1982 Mickey RooneyMickey Rooney "in recognition of his 60 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances." Statuette
1983 Hal RoachHal Roach "in recognition of his unparalleled record of distinguished contributions to the motion picture art form." Statuette
1984 James StewartJames Stewart "for his fifty years of memorable performances. For his high ideals both on and off the screen. With the respect and affection of his colleagues." Statuette
The National Endowment for the ArtsThe National Endowment for the Arts "in recognition of its 20th anniversary and its dedicated commitment to fostering artistic and creative activity and excellence in every area of the arts." Statuette
1985 Paul NewmanPaul Newman "in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft." Statuette
Alex NorthAlex North "in recognition of his brilliant artistry in the creation of memorable music for a host of distinguished motion pictures." Statuette
1986 Ralph BellamyRalph Bellamy "for his unique artistry and his distinguished service to the profession of acting." Statuette
1987 No award
1988 Eastman KodakEastman Kodak Company "in recognition of the company's fundamental contributions to the art of motion pictures during the first century of film history." Statuette
National Film Board of CanadaNational Film Board of Canada "in recognition of its 50th anniversary and its dedicated commitment to originate artistic, creative and technological activity and excellence in every area of film making." Statuette
1989 Akira KurosawaAkira Kurosawa "for cinematic accomplishments that have inspired, delighted, enriched and entertained worldwide audiences and influenced filmmakers throughout the world." Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
1990 Sophia LorenSophia Loren "one of the genuine treasures of world cinema who, in a career rich with memorable performances, has added permanent luster to our art form." Statuette
Myrna LoyMyrna Loy "in recognition of her extraordinary qualities both on screen and off, with appreciation for a lifetime's worth of indelible performances." Statuette
1991 Satyajit RaySatyajit Ray "in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures, and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world." Statuette
1992 Federico FelliniFederico Fellini "in recognition of his cinematic accomplishments that have thrilled and entertained worldwide audiences." Statuette
1993 Deborah KerrDeborah Kerr "in appreciation for a full career's worth of elegant and beautifully crafted performances." Statuette
1994 Michelangelo AntonioniMichelangelo Antonioni "in recognition of his place as one of the cinema's master visual stylists." Statuette
1995 Kirk DouglasKirk Douglas "for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community." Statuette
Chuck JonesChuck Jones "for the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century." Statuette
1996 Michael KiddMichael Kidd "in recognition of his services to the art of the dance in the art of the screen." Statuette
1997 Stanley DonenStanley Donen "in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation." Statuette
1998 Elia KazanElia Kazan "in appreciation of a long, distinguished and unparalleled career during which he has influenced the very nature of filmmaking through his creation of cinematic masterpieces." Statuette
1999 Andrzej WajdaAndrzej Wajda "in recognition of five decades of extraordinary film direction." Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
2000 Jack CardiffJack Cardiff "master of light and color." Statuette
Ernest LehmanErnest Lehman "in appreciation of a body of varied and enduring work." Statuette
2001 Sidney PoitierSir Sidney Poitier "in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human." Statuette
Robert RedfordRobert Redford "Actor, director, producer, creator of Sundance, inspiration to independent and innovative filmmakers everywhere." Statuette
2002 Peter O'ToolePeter O'Toole "whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters." Statuette
2003 Blake EdwardsBlake Edwards "in recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen." Statuette
2004 Sidney LumetSidney Lumet "in recognition of his brilliant services to screenwriters, performers and the art of the motion picture." Statuette
2005 Robert AltmanRobert Altman "in recognition of a career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired filmmakers and audiences alike." Statuette
2006 Ennio MorriconeEnnio Morricone "in recognition of his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music." Statuette
2007 Robert F. BoyleRobert F. Boyle "in recognition of one of cinema's great careers in art direction." Statuette
2008 No award
2009 Lauren BacallLauren Bacall "in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures." Statuette
Roger CormanRoger Corman "for his rich engendering of films and filmmakers." Statuette
Gordon WillisGordon Willis "for unsurpassed mastery of light, shadow, color and motion." Statuette


Year Recipient Notes Award
2010 Kevin BrownlowKevin Brownlow "for the wise and devoted chronicling of the cinematic parade." Statuette
Jean-Luc GodardJean-Luc Godard "for passion. for confrontation. for a new kind of cinema." Statuette
Eli WallachEli Wallach "for a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters." Statuette
2011 James Earl JonesJames Earl Jones "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility" Statuette
Dick SmithDick Smith "for his unparalleled mastery of texture, shade, form and illusion" Statuette
2012 Pennebaker, D. A.D. A. Pennebaker "..[H]as inspired generations of filmmakers with his "you are here" style. He is considered one of the founders of the cinéma vérité movement..." Statuette
Needham, HalHal Needham "A pioneer in improving stunt technology and safety procedures..." Statuette
Stevens Jr., GeorgeGeorge Stevens Jr. "A tireless champion of the arts in America and especially that most American of arts: the Hollywood film" Statuette
2013 Lansbury, AngelaAngela Lansbury "an entertainment icon who has created some of cinema's most memorable characters, inspiring generations of actors." Statuette
Martin, SteveSteve Martin "in recognition of his extraordinary talents and the unique inspiration he has brought to the art of motion pictures." Statuette
Tosi, PieroPiero Tosi "a visionary whose incomparable costume designs shaped timeless, living art in motion pictures." Statuette
2014 Carrière, Jean-ClaudeJean-Claude Carrière Statuette
Miyazaki, HayaoHayao Miyazaki "has deeply influenced animation forever, inspiring generations of artists to work in our medium and illuminate its limitless potential..." Statuette
O'Hara, MaureenMaureen O'Hara "One of Hollywood's brightest stars, whose inspiring performances glowed with passion, warmth and strength." Statuette
2015 Spike LeeSpike Lee "a champion of independent film and an inspiration to young filmmakers" Statuette
Gena RowlandsGena Rowlands "an original talent whose devotion to her craft has earned her worldwide recognition as an independent film icon" Statuette
2016 Jackie ChanJackie Chan Statuette
Lynn StalmasterLynn Stalmaster Statuette
Anne V. CoatesAnne V. Coates Statuette
Frederick WisemanFrederick Wiseman Statuette


  1. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "About Academy Awards: Honorary Award" (Web). Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-07-29. The Academy's Honorary Award is given to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy. It is given at the discretion of the Board of Governors and is not necessarily given every year, although the last year it was not given before 2008 was 1987.
  2. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "About Academy Awards: Honorary Award" (Web). Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-08-01. The Honorary Award can also take the form of a life membership in the Academy, a scroll, a medal, a certificate or any other design chosen by the Board of Governors. The John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation, given for 'outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy,' is considered an Honorary Award. It is usually given at the annual presentation of Scientific and Technical Awards, a dinner ceremony separate from the annual telecast.
  3. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Special Achievement Award" (Web). Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Retrieved 2008-07-29. The Special Achievement Award, an Oscar statuette, is given for an achievement which makes an exceptional contribution to the motion picture for which it was created, but for which there is no annual award category. ... Unlike an Honorary Award, a Special Achievement Award is conferred only for achievements in films which meet the Academy's eligibility year and deadline requirements.... In the Makeup and Sound Effects Editing categories, the Award can be given if those committees fail to come up with three nominations. In that case the committee may recommend to the Board of Governors that a special Achievement Award be voted instead. That was the case in the Visual Effects category, too, before Visual Effects became an annual award.... Thirteen of the 17 Special Achievement Awards given since the category was instituted in 1972 were given for visual effects or sound effects achievements.
  4. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "About Academy Awards: Honorary Award" (Web). Official Academy Award Website. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-08-01. "The Honorary Award is not called a lifetime achievement award by the Academy, but it is often given for a life's work in filmmaking – to Polish director Andrzej Wajda in 1999, for example, and to Elia Kazan the previous year [1998].... The Honorary Award also may be given for outstanding service to the Academy. The last time this happened, however, was in 1979, when an Oscar statuette was presented to Academy Governor Hal Elias, who had served more than a quarter century on the Board of Governors.
  5. Among its Honorary Awards for acting, the Academy also presents deserving young actors with the Special Juvenile Academy Award. (Most of those are not listed here; some of the early "Special Awards" that later became known in that acting category as the "Special Juvenile Academy Award" are listed with "Special Award" added parenthetically.)
  6. Following the searchable Official Academy Award Database (a primary source for this list), years listed are the years of the Academy Awards ceremony when the award was presented (with the annual award ceremony following within parentheses, as documented in the Official Academy Award Database).
  7. Removing him from the contests in which he had been nominated for an Academy Award in the "competitive classes", the Academy gave Chaplin this "Special Award" because, as it wrote to him, his "collective accomplishments" in The Circus merited his placement "in a class" by himself.
    "Special Award to Charles Chaplin" (Web). Official Academy Award Database. AMPAS, Retrieved 2008-07-29. [NOTE: The Academy Board of Judges on merit awards for individual achievements in motion picture arts during the year ending August 1, 1928, unanimously decided that your name should be removed from the competitive classes, and that a special first award be conferred upon you for writing, acting, directing and producing The Circus. The collective accomplishments thus displayed place you in a class by yourself." (Letter from the Academy to Mr. Chaplin, dated February 19, 1929.)]
  8. Bosley Crowther (1941-06-24). "Movie Review: 'Kukan,' a Vivid Fact Film about Modern China and Its Myriad Peoples, Is Seen at the World" (Web). The New York Times, Movies. Retrieved 2008-07-30. Crowther refers to filmmaker as a "young newspaperman, Rey Scott" in the text of this review; credits (at foot of page) describe this film as "A travel picture filmed in color in China and narrated by Ray [sic] Scott.
  9. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Honorary Award". Official Academy Awards Database. AMPAS, Archived from the original (Web) on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-29. (Page 2 of 2 pages); cf. Awards Database.
  10. Baskett was the first African-American actor to receive an Oscar; this "Special Award", which he received at the 20th Academy Awards ceremony, held on March 20, 1948, effectively removed him from contention for a best actor award for his role of Uncle Remus; he died of heart disease on July 9, 1948.
  11. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "From Amarcord to Z" (Web). AMPAS. Retrieved 2008-07-29. Posters From Fifty Years of Foreign Language Film Award Winners: January 19 through April 15, 2007, in the Academy's Grand Lobby Gallery. ... The history of the award actually goes back to 1947, when the Academy recognized Shoe-Shine, from war-scarred Italy, for offering 'proof to the world that the creative spirit can triumph over adversity.' The Academy presented seven more 'special' or 'honorary' foreign language film Oscars before officially establishing the category in 1956. That first competitive award went to Italy for La Strada. The exhibition, which has been assembled from the extensive poster collection of the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library, includes the posters for both Italian films.
  12. "[NOTE: Presented on "Jean Hersholt Night," June 26, 1949, at the Academy building.]" (Awards Database)


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