Four honorary Oscars are handed out in Hollywood to Francis Ford Coppola, Eli Wallach, Kevin Brownlow, and Jean-Luc Godard at the 2nd Annual Governors Awards.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 13, 2010) A.M.P.A.S. 2010 - Oscar organizers began giving out the coveted gold statuettes on Saturday (November 13, 2010) night to pay tribute to four movie veterans: groundbreaking directors Jean-Luc Godard and Francis Ford Coppola, actor Eli Wallach, and film historian Kevin Brownlow.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) gathered a group of Hollywood A-listers for the annual event launched just last year. Among the luminaries to attend The Governors Awards were Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Oliver Stone and Robert DeNiro.
Academy Award-winning "Godfather" director Coppola was given the night's biggest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award, for visionary producing.
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas recounted how Coppola, the writer of "Patton" and director of "Apocalypse Now," had been his filmmaking mentor and said Coppola had blazed trails for many of his contemporaries in the late 1960s and '70s.
"He was our leader. He was our inspiration," Lucas said before giving Coppola the Thalberg trophy, which is considered the highest honor the Academy can give.
Coppola, seated with family members including his wife of 48 years, Eleanor, his son Roman and daughter Sofia, took the stage and hugged Lucas, likening him to a younger brother.
This marked only the second year the Academy has given away the honorary Oscars and a Thalberg statuette at the Governors Awards at the dinner.
Until last year, the group had always handed out the honors during the Academy Awards. But in an effort to speed the annual ceremony for the world's top film honors, A.M.P.A.S. moved this presentation to November to open the Oscar season.
Wallach, who is 94 years old and still working, received an honorary award for his work a wide range of movies from 1956's "Baby Doll" to "The Misfits," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (with Clint Eastwood) and this year's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
When Wallach took the stage to make a short speech upon receiving his award, he remarked "I live to act."
Brownlow lamented the poor state of film archives in America as he accepted his prize.
Godard, who lives in Paris, did not attend.
The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.