After a pandemic cancelation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is bringing the separate Governors Awards ceremony back. It will take place in person on January 15, 2022, in Los Angeles and it will have some living legends to celebrate. Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May, and Liv Ullmann will receive honorary Oscars and Danny Glover will be awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
In a statement, Academy President David Rubin noted, “We are thrilled to present this year’s Governors Awards to four honorees who have had a profound impact on both film and society. Sam Jackson is a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide, while Elaine May’s bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director, and actress, reverberates as loudly as ever with movie lovers. Liv Ullmann’s bravery and emotional transparency have gifted audiences with deeply affecting screen portrayals, and Danny Glover’s decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen.”
Despite a stellar resume and numerous collaborations with Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino, Jackson has only earned one Oscar nomination over his career. That was for “Pulp Fiction” in 1995. His other credits include “The Hateful Eight,” “Chi-Raq,” “Django Unchained,” “Black Snake Moan,” “Unbreakable,” “Jackie Brown,” “Eve’s Bayou,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” “A Time to Kill,” “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” “True Romance,” “Jurassic Park,” “Menace II Society,” “Jungle Fever,” “Mo’ Better Blues, “Do the Right Thing,” “The Incredibles” and “The Avengers,” among other Marvel Studios films. He’s currently on screen in “The Hit Man’s Wife’s Bodyguard.” He’ll be seen next in “The Protege” and the Marvel Studios mini-series “Secret Invasion.”
Elaine May is one of the most lauded writers of the past century. Often teaming with directors Mike Nichols and Warren Beatty, May was nominated for what is now known as Adapted Screenplay in 1979 to “Heaven Can Wait” and in 1999 for “Primary Colors.” Her other writing credits include the comedy classics “Tootsie” and “The Birdcage.” She also directed the films “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Ishtar.” She earned her first Tony Award at the age of 87 in 2019 for “The Waverly Gallery.”
A longtime muse of Ingmar Bergman, Liv Ullman starred as an actress in his films “Persona,” “The Passion of Anna,” “Cries and Whispers” and “Autumn Sonata.” She’s received two Oscar nominations for Best Actress for “The Emigrants” in 1971 and “Face to Face” five years later. She made her directorial debut with 1992’s “Sofie” and later directed “Faithless” in 2000 from a script by Bergman.
Danny Glover has had an impressive career starring in such films as Best Picture nominees “The Color Purple” and “Places in the Heart.” and the “Lethal Weapon” franchise. His credits included the acclaimed “To Sleep With Anger,” “Grand Canyon,” “Maverick,” “Predator 2,” “Witness,” “Silverado,” “Angels in the Outfield,” “Beloved,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Saw,” “Dreamgirls,” “Beyond the Lights,” “Sorry to Bother You” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” among other titles on his long and busy resume. A lifelong community activist, the Academy describes Glover’s contributions as the following: “His efforts for worldwide justice have inspired others to follow his lead. He has been a particularly strong advocate for economic justice and access to health care and education in the United States and Africa. He has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program and is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.”