The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Governors Awards may be in its 10th year, and the honorary Oscar itself in its 60th, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still room for a few firsts.
This Sunday in the heart of Hollywood, the film academy’s board of governors will for the first time give an honorary Oscar statuette to a publicist, Marvin Levy , and the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial award to a woman, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
The honorary Oscar is the film academy’s celebration of the careers of Hollywood titans who have not yet won the golden statuette. In addition to Levy, a longtime publicist for Steven Spielberg, actress Cicely Tyson , who was nominated once for the 1972 film “Sounder,” and “Dirty Harry” composer Lalo Schifrin , a six-time nominee will also get the honorary Oscar.
The private, untelevised dinner gala at the Hollywood & Highland complex is traditionally a starry event comprised of many Oscar hopefuls for the forthcoming awards season. Highlights from the evening are often included in the official Academy Awards broadcast; the 91st annual Academy Awards will be held on February 24.
Kennedy will be accepting the Irving G. Thalberg award with her husband and partner Frank Marshall. The honor is intended to celebrate creative producers for their high-quality body of work, and is infrequently given out. The last Thalberg award recipient was Francis Ford Coppola in 2010.
The academy said Friday it has canceled red carpet interviews at the event due to wildfires in California, including a blaze that prompted the evacuation of numerous celebrities in Southern California.