Jackie Chan to receive lifetime achievement Oscar: 8 other honorary Oscar awardees

Jackie Chan poses for the cameras at the announcement of the beginning of production for the science fiction action film Bleeding Steel in Sydney on Aug 25.
Jackie Chan poses for the cameras at the announcement of the beginning of production for the science fiction action film Bleeding Steel in Sydney on Aug 25. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hong Kong-born actor Jackie Chan will receive an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at a gala in November.

The 2016 Governors Awards, handed out at the decision of the Academy's board of governors, will also go to film editor Anne V. Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and documentarian Frederick Wiseman.

Chan, 62, who will be presented with an Oscar statuette, has never been nominated for an Oscar.

Although three other Asians have been recognised with the lifetime achievement award for their contributions to film, Chan will be the first Asian actor to receive this honour.

The previous Asian awardees are Japanese filmmakers Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki, and Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

The honorary Oscars, now officially called the Honorary Awards, are awarded for lifetime achievements, exceptional contributions to film, or outstanding service to the Academy. Honorary Awards were first given out in 1950, replacing the Special Award.

We take a look at some past honorary Oscar recipients.

1. Bob Hope


Bob Hope racked up four honorary Oscars of his own despite never having been nominated for one. PHOTO: ST FILE

The late comedian and entertainer Bob Hope, who hosted a record 19 Oscars ceremonies, racked up four honorary Oscars of his own despite never having been nominated for one.

He received a silver plaque in 1940, an Oscar statuette in 1952, and a gold medal in 1965, as well as a life membership in the Academy in 1944 - the only such honorary conferment.

Hope, who was originally from Eltham in England, died in 2003 at age 100.

2. Greta Garbo


Greta Garbo received an honorary Oscar "for her unforgettable screen performances" in 1954. She had been nominated for Best Actress thrice before but never won. PHOTO: HANDOUT

Born into poverty in Stockholm in 1905, Greta Garbo fulfilled her vow to escape the trials of her childhood when she became a Hollywood leading lady in the 1930s.

The reclusive star, who retired at the outbreak of World War II when she was just 36, received an honorary Oscar "for her unforgettable screen performances" in 1954. She had been nominated for Best Actress thrice before but never won.

Garbo, then 49, was the first woman to receive the Honorary Award. Child star Shirley Temple had received a Special Award in 1934.

Garbo died in 1990.

3. Akira Kurosawa


Akira Kurosawa was the first Asian to be given an honorary Oscar in 1989. PHOTO: ST FILE

The acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa received an honorary Oscar in 1989, the first Asian to be so honoured. He was 79 at the time.

His 1950 film Rashomon had previously been recognised by the Academy with an honorary foreign language film award.

In response to his own Honorary Award, Kurosawa said modestly in Japanese: "I am very deeply honored to receive such a wonderful prize, but I have to ask whether I really deserve it."

He added: "Cinema is a marvelous thing, but to grasp its true essence is very, very difficult."

4. Satyajit Ray


The late Satyajit Ray (right) with his son Sandip. PHOTO: COMMUNICATIONS DNA

While working in a British-owned advertising firm in Calcutta, Satyajit Ray shot to instant fame as a director with his 1955 debut Pather Panchali, about a small boy in rural Bengal, which was partly funded by pawning his wife Bijoya's jewellery.

Passionate about cinema since young, Ray promptly quit his job and turned to professional filmmaking. His prolific output spanned genres and themes but was always concerned with the social development of his homeland.

When he was 70, Ray received an honorary Oscar in 1991, a year before his death. He was commended for his craft and "profound humanitarian outlook".

5. Hayao Miyazaki


Hayao Miyazaki's citation for his Honorary Award called him "a master storyteller whose animated artistry has inspired filmmakers and audiences around the world". PHOTO: STUDIO GHIBLI/ ENCORE FILMS  

The brains behind acclaimed Japanese production house Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki won an honorary Oscar in 2014 at the age of 73. He had previously bagged the Oscar for the best animated feature film with Spirited Away in 2002, as well as nominations in the same category for Howl's Moving Castle and The Wind Rises.

Miyazaki's citation for his Honorary Award called him "a master storyteller whose animated artistry has inspired filmmakers and audiences around the world".

6. Spike Lee


Director Spike Lee at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, USA, on June 26. PHOTO: REUTERS 

"Filmmaker, educator, motivator, iconoclast, artist" - these were all the titles for which Spike Lee was recognised with his honorary Oscar in 2015.

He had previously picked up nominations as a director for his film Do The Right Thing, and for 4 Little Girls, a documentary about the fatal bombing of an African American church in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lee, then 58, collected his award at Academy's gala but skipped the Oscars awards ceremony to attend a New York Knicks basketball game. His absence was a protest over the dearth of award nominations for non-white actors.

7. James Earl Jones


James Earl Jones (right) and Angela Lansbury present an award during the American Theatre Wing's 70th annual Tony Awards in New York. PHOTO: REUTERS 

Although James Earl Jones is best known to popular audiences as the voice of Darth Vader, the veteran actor has had a distinguished career on film and stage.

He earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in 1970 for his performance as a boxer struggling with anti-Black racism in The Great White Hope, and took home an honorary Oscar in 2011 at 80 "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility".

8. Walt Disney


Legendary cartoonist Walt Disney was given two solo Special Awards. PHOTO: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS/FACEBOOK

The legendary cartoonist was given two solo Special Awards - one in the 1931-32 season for the creation of Mickey Mouse, and one in 1938 for his movie Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, which was recognised for pioneering "a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon".

For the latter award, Disney, then 37, was presented with one statuette and seven miniature statuettes on a stepped base.

He died in 1966, just after his 65th birthday.