Often the Governors Awards are a bit overshadowed with a slew of current year Oscar contenders acting like politicians scrounging up votes but we can’t forget the real reason they exist and that’s to honor people within the film industry who have made a real impact on cinema and movie making through their art or through their humanitarian efforts.
This year, two-time Oscar-nominee Spike Lee (Original Screenplay, Do the Right Thing – 1989; Documentary Feature, 4 Little Girls – 1997) and two-time Oscar nominee Gena Rowlands (Best Actress, A Woman Under the Influence – 1974; Best Actress, Gloria – 1980) are now Oscar winners. Oscar nominee Debbie Reynolds (Best Actress, The Unsinkable Molly Brown – 1964) was rewarded with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her efforts in maintaining some of Hollywood’s most cherished and iconic costumes, including the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz as well as decades of charitable work for children and as President of The Thalians, an organization for the treatment of mental health at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles.
Here are Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes honoring Spike Lee:
Here is Gena Rowlands accepting her honor:
Meryl Streep presenting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Debbie Reynolds, who could not attend, but gives a beautiful speech via telephone. Her granddaughter Billie Lourd (Scream Queens) accepts on her behalf: