Oprah Winfrey broke down in tears after accepting an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday (12th November 2011). The 57-year-old, who was nominated for an acting Oscar in 1986, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her efforts to promote hope and goodwill.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey told the star-studded audience at the black-tie dinner, "I never imagined myself receiving an Oscar, certainly not for doing what I believe is a part of my calling, a part of my being". Oprah, who is now working on her Own network after bringing to an end her long running television show , added, "It's unimaginable that I would be standing before you, voted by the board of governors. So when I say thank you, the thank you comes from a place deeper even than I know, because It's not just from me, it's from everybody who made me possible". Elsewhere at the ceremony, legendary actor James Earl Jones and makeup artist DICk Smith were also honored for their long running contributions to the film industry. The awards occurred just days after the Academy was rocked by director Brett Ratner's outspoken comments, leading him to leave his post as producer of the movie awards in February 2012. His creative partner Eddie Murphy subsequently resigned as presenter of the ceremony, with veteran comedian Billy Crystal confirmed as his replacement.
The 84th Academy Awards will air live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, on February 26th 2012. Steven Spielberg's 'War Horse' and Alexander Payne's 'The Descendants' are tipped to receive a number of nominations.