2013 Governors Awards honors Angelina Jolie

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Steve Martin
Steve Martin raises his arms in triumph.

While you might be familiar with the Academy Awards (the Oscars), there’s a less public ceremony called the Governors Awards, hosted by the same Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). During the 2013 Governors Awards, Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin, and Angela Lansbury were the lucky winners of three very special awards.

Unlike the regular Oscars, where dozens of film industry people are nominated for multiple categories, the Governors Awards focuses on three. The Academy Honorary Award celebrates achievements not covered by current Oscar categories, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award honors individuals who help humanity, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award highlights creative producers. At the 2013 Governors Awards, Steve Martin and Angela Lansbury each received an Academy Honorary Award, while Angelina Jolie was chosen for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Lansbury was thrilled, and said, “You can’t imagine how happy and proud I feel, really undeserving of this gorgeous golden chap,” before thanking co-stars in her past works. She’s most notably remembered for her American murder mystery series Murder, She Wrote and voice acting in animated films like Beauty and the Beast. Steve Martin was teary-eyed as he joked, “It’s the highest award an actor can receive in mid-November. Congratulations amigo. You are an original. Steve’s body of work will be studied long after we’re gone. Two things are timeless… the artistry of Steve Martin and community college.”

However, if there was one speech that sent chills up everyone’s spines, it was Angelina Jolie’s incredibly humble words when she was honored for her selfless humanitarian work. Jolie, who’s a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), choked up as she offered gratitude for the opportunities she’s had.

Jolie Martin Lansbury
Angelina Jolie stands with Angela Lansbury and Steve Martin.

“When I met survivors of war… I knew how fortunate I was,” said Jolie, visibly overwhelmed with emotion. She then delivered incredible words about the opportunities we take for granted, explaining, “I realized how sheltered I had been. I was determined to never be that way again. We all in this room are so fortunate. I don’t understand why I have this life and a woman across the world who has the same work ethic, same desires, and would make better films is stuck in a refugee camp. She has no voice. She worries about what her children would eat, how to keep them safe, and if they can return home. I don’t know why this is my life and that is hers. I don’t understand. But I will do my best to be in service to them. If my mother was alive she would be proud.”

Images courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Facebook.