Long-time Academy Governor Hal Elias received an Honorary
Award in 1979 "for his dedication and distinguished service
to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences."
Then-Academy President Walter Mirisch presented the Oscar
The only Life Membership to be conferred as an Honorary Award was
given to Bob Hope in 1944 "for his many services to the Academy."
Hope has received four Honorary Awards. In addition to his Life
Membership, he received a special silver plaque in 1940 "in
recognition of his unselfish service to the Motion Picture Industry";
a gold medal in 1965 for "unique and distinguished service
to our industry and the Academy" and an Oscar statuette in
1952 "for his contribution to the laughter of the world, his
service to the motion picture industry, and his devotion to the
American premise." And, while it wasn't an Honorary Award,
the Bob Hope Lobby of the Center for Motion Picture Study was dedicated
to Hope in 1990 when he continued to serve the Academy and the industry
with a contribution of a million dollars to the Center's Endowment
Walt Disney and presenter Shirley Temple with his unusual
1938 Oscar for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. At the time
the Honorary Award was known as the Special Award. It was
Disney's second Special Award and his ninth Oscar. He had
a third Special Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
and fifteen more Oscars to go.
The most unusual Honorary Awards went to Edgar Bergen in 1937 and
Walt Disney the following year. Bergen's Honorary, presented "for
his outstanding comedy creation, 'Charlie McCarthy,' was a wooden
Oscar statuette with a movable mouth. Disney's
Honorary (his second) was "for Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs, recognized as a significant screen innovation which has
charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for
the motion picture cartoon." It was a standard Oscar statuette
and seven miniature statuettes on a stepped base.
Rules for the awarding of the Honorary Award are located in the
annual Academy Awards Rules booklet.