International superstar Jackie Chan was awarded an honorary Academy Award at this year’s annual Governors Awards. The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
The man, born Chan Kong-sang in British Hong Kong and professionally known as Jackie Chan, is a 62-year old world-renowned martial artist, actor, writer, director, producer and stuntman. With a career spanning more than five decades and over 200 films, he is perhaps best known for his highly acrobatic fighting style, with an emphasis on creative stunts, improvised weapons and comedic timing.
Some of his biggest hits include Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, the Kung Fu Panda movies, the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid and Rumble in the Bronx, to name just a few. He was also a stuntman in the Bruce Lee films Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon.
At the awards, Chan was introduced by his Rush Hour co-star Chris Tucker, actress Michelle Yeoh and Tom Hanks, while the Award itself was presented to him by Sylvester Stallone.
Chan thanked his fans and spoke highly of his hometown Hong Kong for making him “proud to be Chinese.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences also gave honorary Oscars to British film editor Anne V. Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and prolific documentarian Frederick Wiseman.
In her more than 60 years as film editor, Coates has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for her work on Lawrence of Arabia in 1962. Over the years, she’s worked with a wide range of talented filmmakers, including including Sidney Lumet, Richard Attenborough and Steven Soderbergh.
Stalmaster has been in casting since the mid-1950s and has since worked on over 200 feature films, including Inherit the Wind, In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, Fiddler on the Roof, Harold and Maude, Deliverance, Coming Home, Tootsie and The Right Stuff.
Frederick Wiseman has made one film almost every year since 1967 and is known his his distinct dramatic style, devoid of the exposition and interviews that are commonplace in most documentaries.