Tom Hanks, left, honoree Jeffrey Katzenberg and Will Smith arrive at the fourth annual Governors Awards in Hollywood on Saturday.(Photo: Jordan Strauss, Invision, via AP)
The 2012 class of honorary Oscar winners received plenty of Hollywood star power help at the Governors Awards on Saturday night.
filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, legendary stuntman and director Hal Needham,
founder of the American Film Institute George Stevens Jr. and
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg were all presented with
honorary Oscars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
award winners were celebrated by Hollywood luminaries including Tom
Hanks, Will Smith, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and Sidney
Smith and Hanks gave speeches about Katzenberg's
generosity as he was presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian
Award, which was presented to Oprah Winfrey last year.
talked about the philanthropist's intense fundraising abilities and gave
special mention to Katzenberg's role in setting up the national
telethon in the days after the 9/11 attacks.
doesn't have to do any of these things. But Jeffrey Katzenberg cannot
help but to do all of these things - it is in his DNA, " said Hanks.
"Jeffrey Katzenberg is a brilliant man, a hardworking man, a visionary
and one of the most powerful men (in Hollywood).
"But more than anything else, Jeffrey Katzenberg is a public servant," he said.
his acceptance speech, Katzenberg called on 95-year-old actor Kirk
Douglas, who was sitting in the audience, as an inspiration.
Kirk who taught me you haven't learned to live until you've learned to
give," said Katzenberg. "It's a statement that echoes loudly."
received a standing ovation as he presented an honorary Oscar to
Stevens, the founding director of the American Film Institute and
co-founder of the Kennedy Center Honors.
"When you work with
George Stevens, art and activism are never very far apart," said
Poitier. "George is an extraordinary person. When he commits to
something, he will get it done."
Tarantino gave a speech for
stuntman Needham, who revolutionized the stunt business in 310 features
and went on to direct films such as Smokey and the Bandit ("One of the most enjoyable first-directed features ever made," said Tarantino).
is the man," said Tarantino, praising Needham's stunt work. "Before he
became a director, he pushed the boundaries of what could be done."
"I have ripped off many shots from you," he added. "Today, I say thank you very much."
Michael Moore presented the honorary Oscar to Pennebaker, one of the
pioneers of Direct Cinema and cinéma vérité. Three of Pennebaker's
groundbreaking documentaries have been placed in the Library of Congress
National Film Registry.
"He has remarkably never won an Oscar,
but all of that is to change now," said Moore, speaking to Pennebaker.
"You inspired me and countless others who followed in your very
Pennebaker was temporarily stunned in front of the glamorous crowd.
"It's amazing," he said. "Everyone here probably has one of these. I'm probably the last one."