Ben Rose

All hail Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones and Dick Smith.

All eyes took a rest from the recent Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy Oscar drama to focus on the accomplished trio at Saturday night's Governors Awards where all three were presented with honorary Academy Awards.

And something tells us Oprah's Oscar will make the top of her favorite things list. 

Winfrey, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1986 for her unforgettable role as the strong-willed Sofia inThe Color Purple, was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, granted for efforts that promote hope around the world and goodwill for the film industry.

"I never imagined receiving an Oscar, especially for doing what is part of my calling, part of my being," Winfrey said upon accepting the statuette, according to People. "If you are not a former colored girl born in Mississippi in 1954," she said, "it is impossible for you to know what this journey has meant."

The media mogul, who is known worldwide for her philanthropic and humanitarian contributions, received her Academy Award from a student who attends her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls in South Africa, and told the audience that while she never expected to win an Oscar, receiving the award for her humanitarian efforts meant more to her than winning the statuette for acting. 

Winfrey's BFF, Gayle King, as well as Tyler Perry, Maria Shriver, Sidney Poitier and John Travolta were all on hand to present the award to the former talk show host.

"We found each other through our shared struggles, our shared dreams, and our unconditional belief in who the other wanted to be," Shriver said. 

But, that wasn't the only big tribute of the evening. 

In the spirit of the occasion and in honor of Jones' lengthy career, academy president Tom Sherak took the stage dressed up like Darth Vader (Jones famously first lent his voice to the Stars Wars villainous character in the 1977 flick), and Mary J. Blige hit the stage to perform "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from Disney's "The Lion King," in which Jones voiced the character of Mufasa.

James Earl Jones

Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

The 80-year-old thesp, whom Alec Baldwin and Glenn Close introduced as "one of the greatest actors in American history," has worked in over 50 films, including The Great White HopeField of DreamsPatriot Games and The Hunt for Red October.

Although Jones wasn't able to attend the event, attendees watched a video of Sir Ben Kingsley presenting the award to him in London, where he's currently starring in a stage production of Driving Miss Daisy.

And not to be forgotten was Smith, affectionately known as "the godfather of makeup," who began his career in 1945 as NBC's first makeup artist and went on to work on films like AmadeusDad, The GodfatherThe Exorcist and Taxi Driver.

Dick Smith

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

After Linda Blair and J.J. Abrams paid tribute to his accomplishments, 89-year-old Smith said "I am so grateful," as he received his Oscar.

The Governors Awards were created three years ago to pay tribute to winners of honorary Oscars, which were previously presented during the Academy Awards telecast. This year's telecast will air Sunday, February 26th.

The third-annual black-tie affair, held in the Kodak Theatre's Grand Ballroom, was filled with Hollywood big wigs and industry peeps, including Woody Harrelson, Ellen Barkin, and Moneyball director Bennett Miller, to name a few, according to the Los Angeles Times

CHECK OUT: 2011 Academy Awards Big Moments from the Show 

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