Jerry Lewis to Receive Hersholt Humanitarian Award at 81st Academy AwardsÂ®
Beverly Hills,CA(RushPRnews)12/11/08â€” Actor, director, writer and producer Jerry Lewis has been voted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy President Sid Ganis announced today. The award, an OscarÂ® statuette, will be presented to Lewis during the 81st Academy Awards ceremony on February 22, 2009.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.
â€œJerry is a legendary comedian who has not only brought laughter to millions around the world,â€ said Ganis, â€œbut has also helped thousands upon thousands by raising funds and awareness for those suffering from muscular dystrophy.â€
Lewis began making local and national televised appeals on behalf of the newly founded Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in the early 1950s. He has been the organizationâ€™s national chairman since 1952 and has served as the â€œnumber one volunteerâ€ of the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon since 1966, raising more than $2 billion for the cause.
Born in 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, Lewis first found fame as part of a groundbreaking nightclub act with his partner, Dean Martin. The comedy team of Martin and Lewis made their screen debut in â€œMy Friend Irmaâ€ (1949) and starred in 16 films together through 1956. Lewis went on to star in more than two dozen films, including â€œThe Bellboyâ€ (1960), â€œThe Ladiesâ€™ Manâ€ (1961), â€œThe Nutty Professorâ€ (1963), â€œThe Disorderly Orderly (1964), â€œThe Family Jewelsâ€ (1965) and â€œThe King of Comedyâ€ (1983). A series of lectures on filmmaking that Lewis delivered as an adjunct professor at USC was published as The Total Film-Maker in 1971.
The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 22, 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academyâ€™s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland CenterÂ®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
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Editors: Downloadable images are available at http://photos.oscars.org/
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