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Oprah Winfrey and James Earl will be awarded at the next Oscars ceremony.
Winfrey will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work.Jones along with makeup artist Dick Smith, will receive awards for their magnificent careers. Both prizes will be handed out at the Governors Awards next November.
Winfrey is best known for her talk show, but that is not the only reason why they have decided to honor her. The Oprah Winfrey Show has been on air over 145 different countries. Her program redefined the talk show genre and made Winfrey one of the most influential women in the US, as well as the wealthiest black women in the world.
Her last broadcasting was last May after 25 years on the air. She was seen alone on stage, telling her viewers how much they had meant to her for the past years. Afterwards, Madonna and Beyonce also took part in the show.
Amy Korin, a Winfrey fan who was watching the recording of her last program said “She said, ‘This isn’t goodbye. This is until we meet again’.”
The last episode filmed in front of 13,000 fans had the intervention of Tom Cruise, Aretha Franklin, Tom Hanks and Stevie Wonder, which paid tribute to the presenter.
Last January, Winfrey launched her own TV network. The channel is called OWN “Oprah Winfrey Network”. It is a joint venture with the Discovery channel and will offer round-the-clock lifestyle programs.
Oprah’s philanthropic work includes the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls that opened in South Africa in 2007. There has been controversy about the decision of giving her an honorary Oscar. Newspapers as Los Angeles Times even call the decision a “boneheaded move.”
Despite every attack, Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defended their decision saying that Oprah is always ready to give what she has and fight against any injustice.
“Oprah has given and given and given,” he said. “This is not about personality. This is about a person who has come from the depths, risen to the heights and given back.”James Earl Jones has always been known for his appearance in more than 50 films such Field of Dreams, Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October.
He also gave the voice to the devil Darth Vader in the Stars Wars film and was nominated in 1971 for The Great White Hope.
His co-star Smith is known in the cinema industry as “the godfather of make-up”. Smith won an Oscar in 1984 for his work on Amadeus. He also was in the cast of The Exorcist, Taxi Driver and the Deer Hunter.
According to BBC News, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said their awards were given to individuals for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”