Oprah Winfrey Awarded Honorary Oscar

Oprah Winfrey Awarded Honorary Oscar

Oprah Winfrey joins James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Smith as honorees at the 2011 Governors Awards.

Published November 13, 2011

Oprah Winfrey added another honor to her exhaustive list of accomplishments on Saturday at the 2011 Governors Awards, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.


"I'd like to do more films, but to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award means more to me than any film, any acclaim, even an Oscar, because what it says is you all get it," Winfrey said, the Associated Press reports. "What this really means is that you all understand that what I've been trying to do, what I've been trying to say all these years, [which] is that all of us can make a difference through the life that we live."


Winfrey’s charitable contributions include awarding $6 million in grants to U.S. charter school programs through Oprah’s Angel Network. She has also been lauded for her efforts to bring education to the impoverished citizens of South Africa with her school, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.


Winfrey was nominated for a supporting best actress Oscar for her role as Sofia in the movie The Color Purple.


During the ceremony, James Earl Jones, who has received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his role as Jack Jefferson in the movie The Great White Hope and provided the booming, iconic role of  Darth Vader in Star Wars, also received an honorary Oscar, along with makeup artist Dick Smith, acclaimed for his awe-inspiring work in classic movies such as The Exorcist.


Now in its third year, The Governors Awards pays tribute to winners of honorary Oscars — prizes previously presented during the Academy Awards telecast.


For more behind the scenes from Saturday’s awards, visit the official Oscars website.

Written by Britt Middleton


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