One of the nicest Academy traditions happens a few months before the Oscars each year, when industry veterans are given honorary Oscars in a gorgeously decorated ballroom during an untelevised event. This year’s honorees include an incredible actor and activist, a pioneering filmmaker, and a couple of artists who have been nominated numerous times but never taken home a gold statuette.
Michael J. Fox, Euzhan Palcy, Peter Weir, and Diana Warren will be honored at the 2022 Governors Awards, which will be held on November 19 in Los Angeles, the Academy announced Tuesday.
Fox, who will be honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000. He was diagnosed in 1991, at age 29, with Parkinson’s disease. Rising to fame with the TV series Family Ties before roles in Back to the Future, Doc Hollywood, and The American President, Fox has spent decades as a patient advocate, along with a long career of work on television, including roles on Spin City, The Good Wife, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Palcy, a barrier-breaking director from Martinique, French West Indies, whose films often dig into themes of race, gender, and colonialism, began her journey in film when her movie Sugar Cane Alley won the Silver Lion at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, marking a first for a Black director. her 1989 drama, A Dry White Season, was made at the height of apartheid, and earned Marlon Brando an Oscar nomination.
Warren, a prolific composer, holds the record for the woman with the most Oscar nominations without a win. She earned her 13th best-original-song nomination earlier this year, for the film Four Good Days. She’s written original songs for more than 100 films, and earned her first Oscar nomination for 1987’s Mannequin. The artists she’s worked with over the years include Beyoncé, Cher, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, and John Legend.
Australian filmmaker Weir also has a slew of Oscar nominations—six total—without a win. He earned his first two for directing 1985′s Witness and 1989’s Dead Poets Society. He also earned a screenplay nomination for 1990’s green card and another directing nomination for 1998’s The Truman Show. The director, whose Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave helped usher in the Australian New Wave, earned both a picture and directing nomination for 2003’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
With this group, the Academy has found a way to honor artists who may have been overlooked—and to celebrate those whose complete body of work deserves to be highlighted for its impact on film history.