"Blue Velvet" director David Lynch, "Thelma & Louise" actress Geena Davis, Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller (the first woman nominated for a Best Director Oscar), and actor Wes Studi will be this year's honorees at the Motion Picture Academy's Governors Awards.
The Honorary Oscars will be presented by the Academy in October, it was announced Monday.
Academy President John Bailey said the Governors Awards recognize individuals "who have devoted themselves to a lifetime of artistic accomplishment and brought outstanding contributions to our industry and beyond."
A Montana native, Lynch is a writer, director and painter who studied at the American Film Institute and turned his thesis project into his first feature film "Eraserhead," a black-and-white experimental film about parenthood. Its exceptional photography and sound design made it a cult favorite.
His first Hollywood feature, "The Elephant Man," was released in 1980 and earned Lynch two Oscar nominations for directing and writing. Lynch received two more Best Director Oscar nominations for "Blue Velvet," an idiosyncratic murder mystery starring Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini and Dennis Hopper and "Mulholland Drive," a sensual mystery about stardom and amnesia set in Hollywood.
His other features include an adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic "Dune," "Wild at Heart," "Lost Highway," "The Straight Story" and "Inland Empire." He is also known for the TV series "Twin Peaks," which spawned a feature film spinoff, "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me."
After making her big screen debut in the comedy classic "Tootsie" in 1982, Davis won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "The Accidental Tourist" and was later nominated for Best Actress for the 1991 film "Thelma & Louise." She also starred in "The Fly," "Beetlejuice," "A League of Their Own," "Stuart Little" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight."
Davis is the recipient of this year's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — an Honorary Oscar given to industry figures for their humanitarian efforts — in recognition of Davis' advocacy for gender equality. She founded and is chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, was a Special Envoy for Women and Girls in Information and Communication Technologies for the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union, chaired the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and launched the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015, which supports diversity in the entertainment industry.
Wertmüller, a disciple of Federico Fellini, is best known for her dramas and dark farces charged with political and sexual conflict. She became the first woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for the 1976 drama "Seven Beauties." It starred Giancarlo Giannini as a small-time crook who winds up in a Nazi concentration camp. (She also earned a Best Original Screenplay nomination.)
Wertmüller also directed Giannini in the films "The Seduction of Mimi," "Love and Anarchy," "Swept Away," "A Night Full of Rain" and "Blood Feud."
Studi is a Cherokee-American actor and activist who has brought poignancy to his roles in more than 30 films while advocating for better representation of Native American actors in Hollywood. Born in Oklahoma, Studi got his start at the American Indian Theater Company and appeared in the indie feature "Powwow Highway," an award-winner at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival. The Vietnam veteran would go on to appear in the films "Dances with Wolves," "The Last of the Mohicans," "Geronimo: An American Legend," "Heat," "The New World" and "Avatar."
The Governors Awards will be presented Sunday, October 27 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood.
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