John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Sharon Stone were only a few of the stars who dazzled at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 3rd Annual Governors Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom Saturday night (November 12th) in Hollywood. There, honorary Oscars were handed out to James Earl Jones, makeup artist Dick Smith and Oprah Winfrey, according to Entertainment Weekly.
After a bumpy week that saw the departure of producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murphy from the 2012 Oscars, Academy president Tom Sherak asked the audience, “How was your week?” Winfrey, this year’s recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, gave, in the words of EW‘s Dave Karger, “a riveting 12-minute speech with no script and no notes.”
“When I saw The Help, that is my story,” Winfrey told the audience, which included the film’s stars, Viola Davis and Octavia Spender. “My grandmother was a maid, her mother was a maid, her mother before her was a slave. My mother was a maid. My grandmother’s greatest dream for me was that I would grow up in a family and have a career where she used to say, ‘I hope you get some good white folks. I hope you get some good white folks like I have. I have good white folks.’
“And the only picture I have of my grandmother is of her holding a white child in her maid’s uniform. So the journey from Kosciusko, Mississippi, where nobody ever even imagined it possible that you could be anything other than a maid who had some good white folks who would give you clothes and would let you take food home on the holidays, it’s unimaginable that I would be standing before you, voted by the Board of Governors.”
Also at the Governors Awards: Glenn Close, Diablo Cody, Sean Young, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Alec Baldwin, Seth Rogan, Melissa McCarthy, Ellen Barkin, Dustin Lance Black, Tilda Swinton, Evan Rachel Wood, Linda Blair, Rita Wilson, and Maria Shriver.