All-time highest-grossing actor, Samuel L. Jackson, will be one the stars receiving an honorary Academy Award on the 15th January 2022 ahead of next year's Oscars ceremony. Joining the action star will be Liv Ullman, Elaine May and Lethal Weapon and Saw star, Danny Glover, who will be given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The awards are distributed to those who have not previously won an award and according to the Academy is "to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy". The Humanitarian Award that will be received by Glover, is presented to "an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry"
Jackson, who is now 72, has been appearing on screen since his feature film debut in 1972's Together For Days. While his roles were small and did not garner much attention over the first two decades of his career, Jackson was mentored by the great Morgan Freeman for a time, and slowly built himself up a portfolio of work leading up to his first starring role on National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, a parody of the kind of action movie that would end up making Jackson an A-lister. He went on to appear as Ray Arnold in Jurassic Park, and Big Don in True Romance, after which Quentin Tarantino, who wrote True Romance, asked him to appear in his upcoming Pulp Fiction in the part of Jules Winnfield, which had been specifically written for the actor and which earned him his only Oscar nomination.
Jackson went on to become synonymous with the action genre, appearing in the likes of Die Hard With a Vengeance, A Time To Kill, Jackie Brown, The Negotiator and Deep Blue Sea. As well as numerous other movie appearances, Jackson has had roles in the Star Wars franchise, as Mace Windu in the Star Wars Prequels, and after giving consent for Marvel Comics to use his likeness for their "Ultimate" Nick Fury, he would take on the role from 2008's Iron Man in the MCU, which he continues to play in upcoming Disney/Marvel projects. In presenting the award to the star, the Academy described him as a "cultural icon", something I don't think many will deny.
The others being honored along with Jackson are Elaine May, who made her name in the 1950s as an improvisational comedy partner to Mike Nichols, and Liv Ullman, who is best known for her collaborations with director Ingmar Bergman. Danny Glover, who receives the Humanitarian Awards, has had a long career in Hollywood, which started in 1979. He gained his first major recognition in Spielberg's The Color Purple. He has also appeared in the Lethal Weapon series of movies, but has been more prolific in recent years with movies such as Saw, Death At A Funeral, Jumanji: The Next Level and is currently working on Killing Winston Jones and American Dreamer. He is also expected to reprise his role in a final Lethal Weapon outing, if the movie is given the green light.
All of the awards will be presented at the 12th Governors Awards on January 15, 2022 prior to the 94th Academy Awards, which take place on February 27.