Actor Jackie Chan, documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, film editor Anne V. Coates and casting director Lynm Stalmaster have been chosen as recipients of the 2016 Governors Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
All four will receive Honorary Oscars, with the AMPAS board opting not to award the Irving Thalberg or Jean Hersholt Humanitarian awards this year.
The awards were chosen by members of the Board of Governors on Tuesday night, but the announcement was delayed until all the recipients could be notified.
The AMPAS press release announcing the recipients described the honorees this way:
Jackie Chan: “After making his motion picture debut at the age of eight, Chan brought his childhood training with the Peking Opera to a distinctive international career. He starred in – and sometimes wrote, directed and produced – more than 30 martial arts features in his native Hong Kong, charming audiences with his dazzling athleticism, inventive stunt work and boundless charisma. Since “Rumble in the Bronx” in 1996, he has gone on to enormous worldwide success with the ‘Rush Hour’ movies, ‘Shanghai Noon,’ ‘Shanghai Knights,’ ‘Around the World in 80 Days,’ ‘The Karate Kid’ and the ‘Kung Fu Panda’ series of animated films.”
Anne V. Coates: “A native of Reigate, England, Coates worked her way up to lead editor on a handful of features before collaborating with David Lean on ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and winning her first Oscar. In her more than 60 years as a film editor, she has worked side by side with many leading directors on an impressive range of films, including Sidney Lumet (‘Murder on the Orient Express’), Richard Attenborough (‘Chaplin’) and Steven Soderbergh (‘Erin Brockovich’). She also earned four additional Oscar nominations, for ‘Becket,’ ‘The Elephant Man,’ ‘In the Line of Fire’ and ‘Out of Sight.'”
Lynn Stalmaster: “Stalmaster, a one-time stage and screen actor from Omaha, Nebraska, began working in casting in the mid-1950s. Over the next five decades, he applied his talents to more than 200 feature films, including such classics as ‘Inherit the Wind,’ ‘In the Heat of the Night,’ ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ‘Harold and Maude,’ ‘Deliverance,’ ‘Coming Home,’ ‘Tootsie’ and ‘The Right Stuff.’ He has enjoyed multiple collaborations with directors Stanley Kramer, Robert Wise, Hal Ashby, Norman Jewison and Sydney Pollack, and has been instrumental in the careers of such celebrated actors as Jon Voight, Richard Dreyfuss, Scott Wilson, Jill Clayburgh, Christopher Reeve and John Travolta.”
Frederick Wiseman: “From his home base in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wiseman has made one film almost every year since 1967, illuminating lives in the context of social, cultural and government institutions. He created a sensation with his first documentary feature, ‘Titicut Follies,’ which went behind the scenes at Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. The film established an unobtrusive, observational storytelling style that has strongly identified his work, from the gritty (‘Law and Order,’ ‘Public Housing,’ ‘Domestic Violence’) to the uplifting (‘La Danse – The Paris Opera Ballet,’ ‘National Gallery,’ ‘In Jackson Heights’).”
The winners will be saluted at the annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 12.
For most of the Academy’s existence, honorary Oscars were given out on the Academy Awards show — but in 2009, after years of complaints that the lengthy presentations made a long show even longer, the Academy moved them to a separate, non-televised event in the fall.
That event quickly became an extremely popular stop on the Oscars campaign trail, with studios buying tables and bringing out all of their top contenders to mingle with AMPAS members.
At the same time that the Governors Awards show was created, the board relaxed the rules to allow for more honorary awards. Before the move, a maximum of two honorary Oscars were presented each year; afterwards, the Governors raised the limit to four per year.
They have selected the maximum of four honorees every year except 2011 and 2015, when they opted for three.
The rules require a majority vote of the 54 governors for the first three awards, and a three-fourths majority for a fourth.