Angela Bassett among industry trailblazers to receive honorary Oscar

Angela Bassett may have gone home empty handed at the Oscars in March, but the two-time nominee will be getting a golden statuette this year after all – and in very good company too.

In November, Bassett, Mel Brooks and film editor Carol Littleton will receive honorary Oscars at the Governors Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday.

Michelle Satter, the founding senior director of the Sundance Institute’s Artist Programs, will also be given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the untelevised event.

“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,” Janet Yang, the academy’s president, said in a statement.

Most recipients of the academy’s honorary awards have not won competitive Oscars. Brooks, is an exception, however, having won an original screenplay Oscar for “The Producers.” At the ceremony, in 1969, he said he wanted to “thank the academy of arts sciences and money for this wonderful award.” In his speech, which had the audience in stitches, he also thanked Gene Wilder three times.

The 96-year-old, who began his career writing for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows,” and over the next 70 years would write, direct, act, produce for film, television and Broadway and write books, including a recent memoir, is among the rare breed of EGOT-winners. (Those are entertainers who have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.) He also received two other Oscar nominations, for writing the lyrics to John Morris’s “Blazing Saddles” song and another screenwriting nod for “Young Frankenstein,” which he shared with Wilder.

“Mel Brooks lights up our hearts with his humor, and his legacy has made a lasting impact on every facet of entertainment,” Yang said.

Bassett, whose credits include “Boyz N the Hood,” “Malcolm X,” “Waiting to Exhale” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” received her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and her second earlier this year for playing the grieving queen in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The 64-year-old told the AP earlier this year that “this moment has been so special, it’s been a highlight of my career.”

Yang said in a statement that, “across her decades-long career, Angela Bassett has continued to deliver transcendent performances that set new standards in acting.”

Littleton’s name might not be as immediately recognizable as the celebrities being honored alongside but has been working behind the scenes with top filmmakers for nearly five decades. The 81-year-old Oklahoma native worked frequently with both Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Demme, editing films like “Body Heat,” “The Big Chill,” “Swimming to Cambodia” and “The Manchurian Candidate.” She received her first and only Oscar nomination for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” the only film she’s edited for Steven Spielberg. She’s also married to cinematographer and former Academy president John Bailey.

The honorary awards are 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.”

Satter, meanwhile, has led the Sundance Institute’s famed artist programs for more than 40 years, helping filmmakers at the earliest stages of their careers, from Paul Thomas Anderson to Ryan Coogler.

The Governors Awards will be held on Nov. 18 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

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