Michael J. Fox, Diane Warren to get honorary Oscars

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that its Board of Governors voted to present Honorary Oscars to Euzhan PalcyDiane Warren and Peter Weir, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Michael J. Fox

The four Oscar statuettes will be presented at the Academy’s 13th Governors Awards on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Los Angeles.

“The Academy’s Board of Governors is honored to recognize four individuals who have made indelible contributions to cinema and the world at large,” said Academy President David Rubin.  “Michael J. Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions.  Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering filmmaker whose groundbreaking significance in international cinema is cemented in film history.  Diane Warren’s music and lyrics have magnified the emotional impact of countless motion pictures and inspired generations of musical artists.  Peter Weir is a director of consummate skill and artistry whose work reminds us of the power of film to reveal the full range of human experience.”

Fox gained fame playing Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom Family Ties.  His hit films include Back to the Future, The Secret of My Success, Casualties of War, Doc Hollywood and The American President. 

Fox returned to television in his award-winning lead role on Spin City, followed by guest appearances in series including Rescue Me, The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.  His many awards include five Emmys, four Golden Globes, one Grammy, two Screen Actors Guild awards, a People’s Choice award, and GQ Man of the Year. 

In 2000, Fox launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which is now the leading Parkinson’s organization in the world.  He is the author of four New York Times bestselling books: Lucky ManAlways Looking UpA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future and No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.  Fox is the subject of a documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, which is currently in production.

Euzhan Palcy

Palcy is a writer, director and producer born in Martinique in the French West Indies. Her first feature film, Sugar Cane Alley, won the Silver Lion at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, a first for a Black director.  It went on to win a César Award for Best First Work, the first César won by a woman director and by a Black filmmaker. 

She continued her journey with A Dry White Season (1989), a drama made at the height of apartheid, becoming the first Black woman to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio and guiding Marlon Brando to his last Oscar nomination. Her films also include the musical fairytale Siméon.  Palcy’s work has been an inspiration to filmmakers, contemporary artists and novelists.

Diane Warren

Warren is one of the most prolific contemporary songwriters and has written original songs for more than 100 films.  She has earned 13 Oscar nominations in the Original Song category, starting in 1987 and within each of the past five decades, for songs including Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Because You Loved Me, How Do I Live, I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, Til It Happens To You and Stand Up for Something.  She has collaborated with such prominent music artists as Beyoncé, Cher, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Reba McEntire and Carlos Santana.

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Peter Weir

A leading figure in the Australian New Wave film movement in the 1970s, Weir emerged as a visionary filmmaker with Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave.  He earned Oscar nominations for Directing for Witness, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, for which he also received a Best Picture nomination, and earned a Writing nomination for Green Card.  His other notable films include The Way Back, Fearless, The Mosquito Coast, The Year of Living Dangerously and Gallipoli.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, 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.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

The 95th Academy Awards will air on ABC on March 12, 2023.

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