Entertainment & Arts

Harry Belafonte to receive honorary Oscar

Harry Belafonte Image copyright AP
Image caption Harry Belafonte was dubbed the King of Calypso and famously recorded The Banana Boat Song

US actor and singer Harry Belafonte is to be honoured by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

The 87-year-old will be given a humanitarian award for his work as an activist on racism and equality issues.

Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, Irish-born actress Maureen O'Hara and French screenwriter and actor Jean-Claude Carriere will also collect honorary lifetime awards.

The prizes will be handed out at the academy's Governors Awards in November.

Known as the King of Calypso, Belafonte has spent much of his life campaigning for various causes including famine relief, education, Aids awareness and civil rights.

He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. He was also named a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador in 1987.

The academy noted his films such as Carmen Jones, Odds Against Tomorrow and The World, the Flesh and the Devil strived to bring attention to the injustices of racism and inequality.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Dublin-born Maureen O'Hara frequently worked with director John Ford

O'Hara, 94, is best known for films such as Miracle of 34th Street, Sinbad the Sailor and The Parent Trap.

She was a frequent collaborator with director John Ford, appearing in five of his films including 1952's The Quiet Man.

Miyazaki, renowned animator and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, won the Oscar for best animated feature film in 2002 for Spirited Away.

The 73-year-old, who earned his third Oscar nomination for The Wind Rises earlier this year, announced his plans to retire in 2013.

Carriere, 82, began his career as a novelist before switching to film writing. He shared a screenwriting Oscar for the short Heureux Anniversaire in 1962.

"We're absolutely thrilled to honour these outstanding members of our global film-making community and look forward to celebrating with them in November," academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said.

"The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime."

Previous recipients of Governors Awards include actors Eli Wallach and Lauren Bacall, who both died recently, director Francis Ford Coppola, Angelina Jolie and Steve Martin.

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