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Hayao Miyazaki, Harry Belafonte among winners of honorary Oscars

Hayao Miyazaki, Harry Belafonte among winners of honorary Oscars

"Ponyo" director Hayao Miyazaki poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 28, 2009. Photo: Associated Press/Matt Sayles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – American singer and actor Harry Belafonte, French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, Japanese animated film director Hayao Miyazaki and Irish actress Maureen O’Hara will be honored with Governors Awards, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said on Thursday.

The academy, which hosts Hollywood’s annual Oscars ceremony and is made up of some 6,500 members of the film industry, bestows the Governors Awards to honor a person’s lifetime achievements in film.

The Governors Awards, also called honorary Oscars, are handed out at a star-studded Hollywood ceremony in November.

Belafonte, 87, will be given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award for his work in social causes, including famine relief and education. The academy noted that through his film work, which includes “Carmen Jones” and “Odds Against Tomorrow,” Belafonte strived to spotlight racial issues.

Belafonte, a native of New York’s Harlem neighborhood, is best known as the “King of Calypso,” emerging at the forefront of the Caribbean folk music wave in the United States in the 1950s. He will be join a select company of stars who have won the coveted “EGOT,” with Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards under his belt.

VIEW: 27 stars who could reach EGOT greatness

Miyazaki, 73, is a renowned animator and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, winning the Oscar for best animated feature film in 2002 for “Spirited Away.” “The Wind Rises” earned Miyazaki his third Oscar nomination earlier this year but may be the final work for the director, who announced his plans to retire from filmmaking last year through his production company.

Dublin native O’Hara, 94, is best known for the films “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Sinbad the Sailor.” The red-haired screen siren was also a frequent collaborator with director John Ford, appearing in five of his films, including “The Quiet Man.”

Carriere, 82, began his career as a novelist before switching to film writing, winning an Oscar for best short subject in 1962 for co-writing “Heureux Anniversaire” with Pierre Etaix. He frequently worked with Spanish filmmaker Luis Bu├▒uel on films such as 1967’s “Belle de Jour.”

Previous recipients of the Governors Awards include actor Eli Wallach and actress Lauren Bacall, who both passed away this year, director Francis Ford Coppola, actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie and comedic actor Steve Martin.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)

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