Sherry Lansing, the former chairman of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, 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. The award, an Oscar statuette, will be presented to Lansing during the 79th Academy Awards presentation on February 25, 2007.
The Hersholt Award is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.
"Sherry is being honored not only for her passionate work in support of fighting cancer," said Ganis, "but because the Board recognized and remembered the long list of charitable organizations and causes she has served, and her long history in serving them. Sherry has earned enormous respect throughout the industry not only for her successful career as a producer and studio head, but because she has never failed to further devote her enormous energy to the needs of others."
Lansing helped Dr. Armand Hammer form the nonprofit organization Stop Cancer and serves on its board. She is on the board of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, founded to honor excellence in basic and clinical science, and is a trustee of the American Association for Cancer Research. In addition, she serves on the Citizens' Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Stem Cell Research and on the American Red Cross Board of Governors Advisory Committee and is a trustee of the Carter Center, the human rights organization formed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn. She also serves as a regent of the University of California.
A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Lansing got her feet wet in Hollywood as an actress, a career she quickly abandoned for production. She joined Talent Associates as an executive in charge of development in 1974, moving to MGM in 1975. She joined Columbia Pictures two years later as vice president in charge of production. She was named president of 20th Century-Fox Productions in 1980, and in 1983 formed Jaffe-Lansing Productions with Stanley Jaffe. After Jaffe was appointed president of Paramount Communications in 1990, Sherry became chairman of the Motion Picture Group in 1992.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award will be presented along with Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2006 on Sunday, February 25, 2007, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PST with a half-hour red carpet arrivals segment, The Road to the Oscars.