The newest Academy Award winners have been announced.
Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks, and veteran film editor Carol Littleton have been voted Honorary Oscars, and the Sundance Institute’s Michelle Satter the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. All will be presented on Saturday, November 18, during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 14th annual Governors Awards at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
The three Honorary winners have all danced with Oscar before. Brooks won for his Original Screenplay for The Producers in 1968. Littleton received her sole previous nomination for editing E.T. The Extra Terrestrial in 1982. Bassett, coming off a Best Supporting Actress nomination this year for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, also was a Best Actress nominee 30 years ago for her portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It.
Satter’s Hersholt award represents the second Sundance-related special Academy Award after creator and founder Robert Redford received an Honorary Oscar tied to his work there in 2002.
Brooks becomes the second-oldest Honorary Oscar winner (or any other kind of Oscar winner) in the Academy’s history as today’s announcement represents a kind of birthday present for him. He turns 97 on June 28 and, by the way, is still very much active in the business. The oldest winner remains Art Director Robert F. Boyle, who received an Honorary Oscar in 2008 at age 98.
“The Academy’s Board of Governors is thrilled to honor four trailblazers who have transformed the film industry and inspired generations of filmmakers and movie fans,” said Academy President Janet Yang. “Across her decades-long career, Angela Bassett has continued to deliver transcendent performances that set new standards in acting. Mel Brooks lights up our hearts with his humor, and his legacy has made a lasting impact on every facet of entertainment. Carol Littleton’s career in film editing serves as a model for those who come after her. A pillar of the independent film community, Michelle Satter has played a vital role in the careers of countless filmmakers around the world.”
In addition to her aforementioned Oscar nominated roles, Bassett’s film credits include Boyz N The Hood, Malcolm X, Waiting To Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Music Of The Heart, Sunshine State, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Avengers: Endgame, and Soul. Her television credits include The Jacksons: An American Dream, The Rosa Parks Story, American Horror Story, and the current 9-1-1 which will be moving after seven seasons on Fox over to ABC in the coming season.
Director, producer, writer and actor Brooks began his career writing comedy routines for Sid Caesar’s television shows and co-created the television series Get Smart. His aforementioned Oscar winning first screenplay The Producers was later turned into a smash hit Broadway musical that won 12 Tony Awards, and later became a film version of its own. His other many films include The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History Of The World – Part 1, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, and Dracula: Dead And Loving It. His company, Brooksfilm is also a prolific producer of films including the 1980 Best Picture nominee The Elephant Man. Brooks is an EGOT winner with multiple Emmys, Tonys, Grammys, and now will have another Oscar statuette in the house.
Littleton’s career as a film editor spans nearly five decades. In addition to E.T., her other notable credits include Body Heat, The Big Chill, Places In The Heart, and the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. She has served as governor of the Academy’s Film Editors Branch, president and vice president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild and on the Board of Directors of American Cinema Editors.
Satter is the founding senior director of the Sundance Institute’s Artist Programs, focused on the cultural impact of supporting independent storytellers. In her more than 40 years in this role at the nonprofit, she has discovered and fostered the careers of hundreds of notable and award-winning filmmakers, many from underrepresented communities. She has also led the Sundance Institute’s international initiatives in Asia, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East. She founded and oversees the vision and content of Sundance Collab, a global digital storytelling community and learning platform.
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.”