Bacall, Corman Getting Honorary Oscars Early

Lifetime achievement awards will be doled out at special separate event held months before the kudos-cast

By Josh Grossberg Sep 11, 2009 12:50 PMTags

And the Oscar goes to...November.

In the latest effort to shake up tradition and make the Oscar show more viewer-friendly, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced it will hand out this year's honorary Oscars months ahead of time, at an inaugural Governors Ball on Nov. 14.

Recipients include producer-turned-studio head John Calley, who will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award; legendary actress Lauren Bacall; B-movie master Roger Corman; and cinematographer Gordon Willis.

Let the scramble for broadcasting rights begin!

The Thalberg Award is given to "creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production." Calley's credentials include stints at Filmways and Warner Bros. before heading up United Artists and Sony Pictures. As a producer, he was nominated for an Oscar for The Remains of the Day. Other credits include Catch-22, Postcards from the Edge, Closer, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.

Bacall became a Tinseltown icon tag-teaming with Humphrey Bogart in such classics as 1944's To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep before marrying him. She earned an Oscar nod for 1997's The Mirror Has Two Faces. Other films include Dark Passage, Key Largo, How to Marry a Millionaire and Misery.

Best known as the producer-director of often schlocky, ultra-low-budget genre films (The Raven, Dementia 13, The Little Shop of Horrors, Big Bad Mama and Death Race 2000), Corman might be one of the best talent evaluators in Hollywood history, giving first jobs to the likes of Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Jack Nicholson and James Cameron, among others.

Willis, meanwhile, is being feted for his pioneering cinematography in a body of work that includes the Godfather films, Annie Hall, Manhattan, All the President's Men and Klute.


Relive the memories of last year's Academy Awards with our 2009 Oscars: Big Moments From the Show photo gallery.