The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Angela Bassett, Mel Brooks, and Carol Littleton will be presented with Honorary Awards during this year's Governors Awards, while Michelle Satter will be awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
As voted on by the Board of Governors, the honorary Oscar statuette is 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. The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is given to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.
"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," said Academy President Janet Yang. "Across her decades-long career, Angela Bassett has continued to deliver transcendent performances that set new standards in acting. Mel Brooks lights up our hearts with his humor, and his legacy has made a lasting impact on every facet of entertainment. Carol Littleton's career in film editing serves as a model for those who come after her. A pillar of the independent film community, Michelle Satter has played a vital role in the careers of countless filmmakers around the world."
The 14th Governors Awards will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024.
The actress made her film debut in the 1986 thriller, F/X, appearing briefly as a news reporter. In the nearly four decades since, Bassett's presence on-screen has become the gold standard. She received her first Oscar nomination for her powerhouse portrayal of Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic, What's Love Got to Do with It, and another playing Queen Ramonda in 2022's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (With the latter, she made history as the first actor to receive an Oscar nomination for a Marvel film.)
Her other film credits include Boyz N the Hood, Malcolm X, Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Music of the Heart, Sunshine State, Black Panther, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Avengers: Endgame, and Soul. Her television credits include The Jacksons: An American Dream, The Rosa Parks Story, American Horror Story and 9-1-1. Bassett is also a producer and director.
It is impossible to quantify the impact that Brooks has had on cinema and pop culture at large. He has acted in, directed, produced and written some of the most beloved movies in film history, including The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
In 1969, Brooks won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Producers, and he earned two more nominations in 1975, one for Best Adapted Screenplay (for Young Frankenstein) and another for Best Original Song (for the song "Blazing Saddles"). Across more than seven decades, Brooks has also won four Emmys, three Grammys, and three Tonys, making him one of only 18 people ever to EGOT.
Inspired by the French New Wave, Littleton got her start as a film editor in the '70s, and would go on to edit Steven Spielberg's beloved 1982 sci-fi adventure, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial — for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing — as well as classics like Body Heat, The Big Chill, Places in the Heart, The Manchurian Candidate, The Accidental Tourist, and Beloved. (She is a longtime collaborator of filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan.)
Littleton won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special for 1999's Tuesdays With Morrie. She has served as governor of the Academy’s Film Editors Branch, president and vice president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild and on the Board of Directors of American Cinema Editors.
When Robert Redford founded the Sundance Institute as a non-profit organization in 1981, Satter was by his side as the Founding Senior Director of Artist Programs. Beginning with the inaugural feature film program, Satter has been a chief architect of the Institute's programs, which advocate for and offer year-round support to independent artists. She has also led the Sundance Institute's international initiatives in Asia, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East. She founded and oversees the vision and content of Sundance Collab, a global digital storytelling community and learning platform.
She has had a hand in shepherding Oscar-winning filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Damien Chazelle, and Taika Waititi, among others, as well as nominated filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Dee Rees, and Ryan Coogler. As such, she has been given special thanks in the credits of countless films.