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And The (Honorary) Academy Award Goes To ...

Updated September 19, 2020 191 items

All honorary Oscar recipients have achieved the ultimate recognition in Hollywood. From the first ceremony in 1929, the Academy has handed out honorary Oscars to cinematic luminaries and companies whose achievements were too great to ignore.

Among the first honorary Oscar winners were two of the most famous figures in film history, Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney, who won honorary Oscars for creating Mickey Mouse and producing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In addition to people, companies like Warner Bros. Entertainment and Technicolor can also be included on the list of those to receive an Academy honorary award.

Perhaps the most prestigious award is the Oscar lifetime achievement award, celebrating the entire body of work prodcued by an individual. Among the winners of the lifetime achievement Oscar are Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Gary Cooper.

So spend some time checking out every honorary Academy Award winner and remembering their tremendous achievements.

  • Lina Wertmüller191

    2019: "When you meet her, you understand immediately you are in the presence of incredible talent."

  • Wes Studi190

    2019: "For all Wes's practical skill with words it's still how he uses them that makes him such a brilliant actor."

  • David Lynch189

    2019: "You have to let his quiet guide you. Simply put, you can tell what he likes and doesn't like just by looking at him."

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  • Cicely Tyson188

    2018: "whose unforgettable performances and personal integrity have inspired generations of filmmakers, actors and audiences"

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    #9 of 225 The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time#877 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

  • Lalo Schifrin187

    Lalo Schifrin

    2018: "in recognition of his unique musical style, compositional integrity and influential contributions to the art of film scoring"

  • Agnès Varda186

    2017: "her compassion and curiosity inform a uniquely personal cinema"

  • Donald Sutherland185

    2017: "for a lifetime of indelible characters, rendered with unwavering truthfulness"

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  • Owen Roizman184

    2017: "his expansive visual style and technical innovation have advanced the art of cinematography"

  • Charles Burnett183

    2017: "a resolutely independent and influential film pioneer who has chronicled the lives of black Americans with eloquence and insight"

  • Frederick Wiseman182

    2016: "Wiseman has made one film almost every year since 1967, illuminating lives in the context of social, cultural and government institutions"

  • Anne V. Coates181

    2016: "in her more than 60 years as a film editor, she has worked side by side with many leading directors on an impressive range of films"

  • Lynn Stalmaster180

    2016: "over five decades, he applied his talents to more than 200 feature films... and has been instrumental in the careers of celebrated actors"

  • Jackie Chan179

    2016: "Chan starred in – and sometimes wrote, directed and produced – more than 30 martial arts features in his native Hong Kong, charming audiences with his dazzling athleticism, inventive stunt work and boundless charisma."

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  • Gena Rowlands178

    2015: "an original talent whose devotion to her craft has earned her worldwide recognition as an independent film icon"

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    #22 of 186 The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)#158 of 213 The Greatest American Actresses Of All Time

  • Spike Lee177

    2015: "a champion of independent film and an inspiration to young filmmakers"

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  • Maureen O'Hara176

    2014: "One of Hollywood's brightest stars, whose inspiring performances glowed with passion, warmth and strength."

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    #401 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#7 of 163 The Greatest Western Movie Stars

  • Hayao Miyazaki175

    2014: "has deeply influenced animation forever, inspiring generations of artists to work in our medium and illuminate its limitless potential..."

  • Jean-Claude Carrière174

    2014: "To Jean-Claude Carrière, whose elegantly crafted screenplays elevate the art of screenwriting to the level of literature."

  • Piero Tosi173

    2013: "a visionary whose incomparable costume designs shaped timeless, living art in motion pictures."

  • Steve Martin172

    2013: "in recognition of his extraordinary talents and the unique inspiration he has brought to the art of motion pictures."

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  • Angela Lansbury171

    2013: "an entertainment icon who has created some of cinema's most memorable characters, inspiring generations of actors."

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    #57 of 843 The Best Actresses in Film History#187 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • George Stevens Jr.170

    2012: "A tireless champion of the arts in America and especially that most American of arts: the Hollywood film"

  • Hal Needham169

    2012: "A pioneer in improving stunt technology and safety procedures..."

  • D. A. Pennebaker168

    2012: "..[H]as inspired generations of filmmakers with his "you are here" style. He is considered one of the founders of the cinéma vérité movement..."

  • Dick Smith167

    2011: "for his unparalleled mastery of texture, shade, form and illusion"