Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Awarded for"outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes"
CountryUnited States
Presented byAcademy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
First awarded1957

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is awarded periodically by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) at the Governors Awards ceremonies for an individual's "outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes". Prior to 2009 and in 2021, this award was presented during the main Oscars ceremony. The award category was instituted in 1956 and first awarded at the 29th Academy Awards, in March 1957. Unlike the Academy Award of Merit, the awards are restricted with the nomination and voting limited to industry professionals for this that are members of the Board of Governors of AMPAS.[1]


The award is named after Danish American screen actor and humanitarian Jean Hersholt (1886–1956), who served as president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund for 18 years. He also served as president of AMPAS from 1945 to 1949.[2] Winners of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award are presented with an Academy Award Oscar statuette. As of the 92nd Academy Awards, there have been 39 awards presented, two of which were posthumous.[2]

List of recipients

dagger Indicates posthumous award
Year Image Recipient Nationality Ref.
Y. Frank Freeman circa 1910
Y. Frank Freeman  USA
Samuel Goldwyn in 1919
Samuel Goldwyn  Poland
Bob Hope in 1978
Bob Hope  UK
1960 Sol Lesser  USA
1961 George Seaton  USA
1962 Steve Broidy  USA
1965 Edmond L. DePatie  USA
1966 George Bagnall  USA
Gregory Peck in 1948
Gregory Peck  USA
Martha Raye in the 1940s
Martha Raye  USA
George Jessel in the film Stage Door Canteen (1943)
George Jessel  USA
Frank Sinatra in Pal Joey (1957)
Frank Sinatra  USA
Rosalind Russell in 1956
Rosalind Russell  USA
1973 Lew Wasserman  USA
Arthur B. Krim in 1962
Arthur B. Krim  USA
1975 Jules C. Stein  USA
Charlton Heston in The President
Charlton Heston  USA
Leo Jaffe  USA
1979 Robert Benjamin dagger  USA
Danny Kaye undated
Danny Kaye  USA
1982 Walter Mirisch  USA
M. J. Frankovich.jpg
Mitchell John Frankovich  USA
1984 David L. Wolper  USA
Charles "Buddy" Rodgers in 1929
Charles "Buddy" Rogers  USA
Howard W. Koch in 1966
Howard W. Koch  USA
Audrey Hepburn in 1956
Audrey Hepburn[a] dagger  UK
Elizabeth Taylor in 1956
Elizabeth Taylor  UK
Paul Newman in 1963
Paul Newman  USA
Quincy Jones in 2014
Quincy Jones  USA
Arthur Hiller in 1970
Arthur Hiller  Canada
2004 Roger Mayer  USA
Sherry Lansing in 2002
Sherry Lansing  USA
Jerry Lewis in 1973
Jerry Lewis  USA
Oprah Winfrey in 2014
Oprah Winfrey  USA [1]
Jeffrey Katzenberg in 2014
Jeffrey Katzenberg  USA [1]
Angelina Jolie in 2014
Angelina Jolie  USA [3]
Harry Belafonte in 2011
Harry Belafonte  USA [4]
Debbie Reynolds in 1998
Debbie Reynolds  USA [5]
Geena Davis in 2019
Geena Davis  USA [6]
Tyler Perry in 2016
Tyler Perry  USA [7]
Motion Picture & Television Fund  USA
Danny Glover in 2014.
Danny Glover  USA [8]
Michael J. Fox in 2020.
Michael J. Fox  Canada

See also


  1. ^ Hepburn was alive when the Academy voted to bestow the award, but had died by the time of the awards ceremony.


  1. ^ a b c "Honorary Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  2. ^ a b "Academy Awards Database – AMPAS". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2014-12-03.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Milliken, Mary (November 17, 2013). "Angelina Jolie receives humanitarian award from Academy". Reuters. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Harry Belafonte, Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki And Maureen O'Hara To Receive Academy's Governors Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "Governors Awards: Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds & Gena Rowlands Get 2015 Honors". 27 August 2015.
  6. ^ "THE ACADEMY TO HONOR GEENA DAVIS, DAVID LYNCH, WES STUDI AND LINA WERTMÜLLER AT 2019 GOVERNORS AWARDS". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  7. ^ "Tyler Perry, MPTF To Receive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards At The 93rd Oscar Show April 25". Deadline Hollywood. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  8. ^ "Oscars: Academy To Honor Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May & Liv Ullmann At 2022 Governors Awards". Deadline Hollywood. 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  9. ^ Feinberg, Scott (2022-06-21). "Academy's Governors Awards: Michael J. Fox Tapped for Hersholt Award, Diane Warren, Peter Weir and Euzhan Palcy Set for Honorary Oscars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2022-06-21.