The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

Willis to Receive Honorary Oscar

September 11, 2009

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will present an Honorary Academy Award statuette to Gordon Willis, ASC, on Nov. 14 in Los Angeles. The presentation will be part of the inaugural Governors Awards ceremony, which will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
"It's a terrific honor,” Willis told AC. “I'm a little stunned. These things usually happen after they throw the last bucket of earth on you, so I'm glad I'm still standing!"

Born in New York City, Willis began his cinematography career in 1970 with the feature End of the Road. He shot more than 30 pictures, including the Godfather trilogy, Annie Hall, All the President’s Men, Manhattan, Klute, Zelig, Pennies from Heaven and The Purple Rose of Cairo.

He earned an Academy Award nomination for Zelig and Academy and ASC award nominations for The Godfather Part III. The ASC presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

Honorary Oscars, which will also be presented this year to Lauren Bacall and Roger Corman, recognize extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion-picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to the Academy. “These individuals have made lasting impressions on the industry and audiences worldwide,” said Tom Sherak, president of AMPAS. “I’m thrilled that [they were] selected to be honored at our new Governors Awards event, which will be full of memorable moments celebrating their accomplishments.”