Last night in Hollywood, the 2009 Academy Governors Awards were held to honour a few film luminaries for their work in the industry. The inaugural event allowed the Academy to recognise the careers of some of Hollywood’s finest on-screen and off-screen talent, and paid tribute to their service to the industry.
Lauren Bacall received an honorary Oscar for her work during the golden age of cinema, director Roger Corman for his work over the years, film executive Roger Calley for his work producing quality films, and cinematographer Gordon Willis also received an Oscar for his unsurpassed DoP work on Best Picture winners like The Godfather.
John Calley, recipient of the Irving G Thalberg Award, is best known for producing films like The Remains Of the Day, Closer, the Dan Brown inspired DaVinci Code as well as the most recent Ron Howard film, Angels & Demons.
As a studio head, he was responsible for the resurrection of the Bond franchise with Goldeneye for United Artists, as well as the Oscar winning As Good As it Getsfor the Sony corporation. He was also on the board of directors at Warner Bros during their 70’s and 80’s heyday, involved in green-lighting films such as Superman, The Exorcist, Dog Day Afternoon, Mean Streets and A Clockwork Orange, to name only a few.
Lauren Bacall has been a name synonymous with cinema since her startling debut in To Have and Have Not, with Humphrey Bogart, back in 1944, and has gone on to become the Jackie Kennedy of film; she’s the first lady of cinema these days, with her career including films like Key Largo (already review right here on this site!), The Big Sleep and The Mirror Has Two Faces, The Shootists, How to Marry A Millionaire, as well as more recent fare such as Misery and Dogville. As the recipient of an honorary Oscar, her legendary status is assured.
Roger Corman is perhaps best known among cine-philes for his producing work back in the 60’s and 70’s. Corman’s first producing credit is on 1955’s low-budget actioner The Fast & The Furious. Since then, he has been credited with launching the careers of fellow Hollywood alums such as James Horner, Joe Dante, film editor Mark Goldblatt, producer Gale Ann Hurd, and actors like Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern and Dianne Ladd, among others.
Finally, Gordon Willis is a cinematographer whose work on films including The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, as well as Annie Hall, all of which were Best Picture recipients for those years, ensured his status as a leading light in the world of DoP’s. His work on The Paper Chase, All The Presidents Men, as well as Klute and Manhattan, defined the look of cinema during the 70’s. More recent films lensed by Willis include The Godfather Part III, Presumed Innocent and The Devil’s Own.
A complete rundown of the event can be found here, as well as more in-depth biographical information on each recipient. Our own Oscar homepage will be updated with this information soon.