Lion King’s James Earl Jones to get honorary Oscar

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The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King (1994)

Partly due to his work voicing Mustafa in the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night to present an Honorary Award to actor James Earl Jones.

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be given to philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.

Both awards will be presented at the Academy’s Third Annual Governors Awards dinner Saturday, November 12 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.

“Jones has voiced some of the most iconic characters in motion pictures, including Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy and Mustafa in The Lion King,” AMPAS observed.

In other theatrical animated films, Jones voiced the Emperor of the Night in Pinocchio And The Emperor Of The Night (1987), the Voice Box at the Hardware Store in Robots (2005), and the Professor in Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (2009).

Born in Arkabutla, Mississippi, Jones made his film debut in 1964 in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In 1970, he earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as boxer Jack Jefferson in The Great White Hope. Jones has appeared in more than 50 feature films, including Claudine, Conan the Barbarian, Field of Dreams, Coming to America and, as Vice Admiral James Greer, in The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.

Actress, television host and producer Winfrey voiced Gussy the Goose in Paramount’s Charlotte’s Web (2006), Judge Bumbleton in DreamWorks Animation’s Bee Movie (2007), and Eudora in Disney’s The Princess And The Frog (2009).

Since receiving her Oscar nomination for her debut film performance in The Color Purple, Winfrey has gone on to establish herself as one of the most influential figures in entertainment and philanthropy. She has been especially dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and raising awareness of issues that affect women and children, both in the United States and around the globe. Her philanthropic efforts have included Oprah’s Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which opened in South Africa in 2007.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.

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