Oscars: Quincy Jones, Juliet Taylor, Richard Curtis, Barbara Broccoli & Michael G. Wilson To Receive Academy’s 15th Annual Governors Awards

For only the second time in its 15 year history there is no actor among the honorees for this year’s select group receiving the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Governors Awards. The AMPAS Board Of Governors have chosen to give Academy Honorary Awards to music legend Quincy Jones and veteran Casting Director Juliet Taylor, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to British writer/director Richard Curtis, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The awards ceremony, always a highlight in the very long Oscar season will take place on Sunday November 17, 2024 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Ovation Hollywood.

You have to go back to the 4th Governors Awards in 2012 to find a group that did not include at least one actor among its recipients. That year the honorees were documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, director/stuntman Hal Needham, AFI founder and producer/filmmaker George Stevens Jr., and executive and philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg.

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Broccoli becomes only the second child of a previous Thalberg winner to receive the same prestigious honor. In 1981 her father Albert R. Broccoli was presented the award which celebrates the careers of significant producers. Both Broccolis are responsible for the long running James Bond franchise, no doubt a prime reason for honoring them with the Thalberg which up to now had been a bust of its namesake but beginning this year will be a regular Oscar statuette. Richard D. Zanuck had been the only previous child of a former Thalberg winner when he and partner David Brown won theirs in 1990. Darryl F. Zanuck was the first-ever recipient in 1937, and the only person to receive it three times. Given only occasionally, the most recent Thalberg winners were Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall in 2018.

“The recipients of this year’s Governors Awards have set the bar incredibly high across their remarkable careers, and the Academy’s Board of Governors is thrilled to recognize them with Oscars,” said Academy President Janet Yang.  “The selection of Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli is a testament to their success as producers of the fan-favorite Bond series and their contribution to the industry’s theatrical landscape.  Richard Curtis is a brilliant comedic storyteller whose tremendous charitable efforts embody the meaning of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.  Quincy Jones’s artistic genius and relentless creativity have made him one of the most influential musical figures of all time.  Juliet Taylor has cast iconic and beloved films and paved a new path for the field.  Their profound love of cinema and indelible contribution to our art form make these five individuals truly deserving of these honors.”

Curtis’s film credits include Notting Hill, Bridget Jone’s Diary, Love Actually, and About Time. He earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Four Weddings And A Funeral. Curtis is the co-founder of Comic Relief UK and USA, and his fundraising work over 40 years has helped raise more than $2 billion and supported over 170 million people.  In 2005, he co-created Make Poverty History and helped produce the Live 8 concerts.  Most recently, he co-founded the group Project Everyone, giving practical support to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and established the ethical investment campaign Make My Money Matter, which has helped transfer £1.3 trillion into sustainable pensions.

A prominent figure with an illustrious musical career spanning seven decades, Jones has produced and composed an expansive body of work.  His film credits include In The Heat Of The Night and he has earned a total of seven Oscar nominations for his work on such films as In Cold Blood, The Wiz, and The Color Purple. receiving a Best Picture nomination for the latter.  In 1967, Jones was the first Black composer to be nominated in the Original Song category for his theme song The Eyes Of Love from Banning. The next year he was nominated again for his title theme song from For Love Of Ivy.  Throughout his career, he has collaborated with Lesley Gore, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, among others.  Jones was the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994.

Taylor is a prolific New York-based casting director who is behind some of the most acclaimed casts in film history. Her most prolific association, going back to the 70’s, has been with director Woody Allen and she has cast 43 of his films all the way up to 2016’s Cafe Society, her most recent listed credit on imdb.  Some notable movies from her 50-year career include Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, Big, Sleepless In Seattle, Schindler’s List, Interview With The Vampire, Angela’s Ashes, Midnight In Paris, Working Girl, and Blue Jasmine.  Other major directors with whom she has worked include James L. Brooks, Nora Ephron, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, to name a few. Her many credits with director Mike Nichols also brought her a Primetime Emmy Award in 2004 for Angels In America.

Wilson and Broccoli of EON Productions are producers of the James Bond film series.  They have produced some of the most successful 007 films ever including Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time To Die.  Wilson and Broccoli have produced and executive produced independent film projects such as Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, Nancy, The Rhythm Section, Till, and The Accidental Getaway Driver.  They are directors of the Broccoli Foundation, founded by Dana and Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli to support the arts, medicine and education.  After Kennedy in 2018,  Barbara Broccoli is the second woman to receive the Thalberg Award.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences of any discipline, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry by promoting human welfare and contributing to rectifying inequities.”

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, now an Oscar statuette, is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

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