Oscars celebrate May, Jackson, Ullmann and Glover

Mar 25, 2022, 11:54 PM | Updated: 11:58 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elaine May was the last to arrive and the first to leave at the Governors Awards on Friday in Los Angeles.

Her fellow honorees, Samuel L. Jackson, Liv Ullmann and Danny Glover, all arrived hours earlier, each holding court at the Ray Dolby Ballroom, posing for photos and enjoying their moment amid the lead-up to the 94th Academy Awards.

It was a celebration, after all. They were about to get something for the first time in their long Hollywood careers: An Oscar statuette of their own.

Jackson, whose right foot was in a walking cast boot and his left in a black velvet slipper, sat at the base of an oversized Oscar statuette as everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Magic Johnson came over to congratulate him.

But May, the 89-year-old writer, filmmaker and comedy legend, walked into the Ray Dolby Ballroom arm in arm with Bill Murray long after attendees had finished their chicken pot pies, accepted her honorary Oscar with grace and wit, then departed soon after — still linked to Murray.

Yes, it’s the kind of move that could upend a live broadcast. But at the Governors Awards, there are no television cameras. Everyone is simply delighted to be celebrating living legends who are long overdue for their Oscar moment. With beautiful clip montages and emotional tributes — from the likes of Denzel Washington for Jackson, John Lithgow for Ullmann, and Alfre Woodard for Glover — it’s the kind of show that reminds you why you love movies and the people who make them.

The Governors Awards is often a stop for Oscar hopefuls on the campaign trail, but this year’s ceremony was delayed because of the pandemic. Though less star-studded than usual, there was also a silver lining to holding the event after Oscars voting had ended: The focus stayed squarely on the honorees and their legacies.

Murray, of course, was there to fete May, a two-time Oscar nominee for writing “Heaven Can Wait” and “Primary Colors.” He ignored the teleprompter speech and praised, “The most attractive, intelligent woman I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”

A highlight reel of her work was played, including her comedy act with Mike Nichols and the films she directed, acted in, wrote and ghost wrote (like “Tootsie”).

Lily Tomlin, Kenneth Lonergan, Billy Crystal and Nathan Lane praised her confidence of tone and how her films, from “A New Leaf” to “Mikey and Nicky,” were all so important and so different from one another.

May — who Lonergan teased, saying she “Gives the best tribute speeches of all time” — kept her moment on stage brief.

“They told me Zelenskyy would introduce me tonight, but thank God they got Bill instead,” May said, referring to Ukraine’s president. She also quipped about the event being held in-person, saying, “I’m afraid of COVID but I think this is very nice.”

It was Jackson’s turn next, and Washington, the only current Oscar nominee in the room, was there to tout his friend’s 152 movie titles, his $27 billion at the box office, his “11 times Nick Fury and one time the ‘Django,'” and his and his wife’s charitable efforts.

“This thing is going to be cherished,” said Jackson, 73, proudly holding his Oscar and marveling that a little kid with a stutter from Chattanooga, Tennessee, made it this far.

“I got out there to entertain audiences the way Hollywood entertained me,” he said. “It’s truly been an honor and privilege to entertain you.”

Lithgow, in toasting the great Norwegian actor Ullmann, said people often say she had Swedish director Ingmar Bergman to thank for her career. But, he said, “Bergman would have never been called one of our greatest filmmakers without Liv Ullmann.”

The two worked together on Broadway in a production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie.”

“I’ve seen a lot of great acting in my day but I’ve never seen anything like that,” Lithgow said.

On stage, Ullmann, who was nominated twice for best actress, for Jan Troell’s “The Emigrants,” from 1971, and Bergman’s “Face to Face,” from 1976, recalled her disastrous first audition for a Norwegian theater school in which she was cut off in the middle of a scene from “Romeo and Juliet” — and the comfort she got afterwards from her grandmother, who nurtured her creative spirit.

In Norway, she said, people aren’t supposed to brag or show off.

“That’s why I brought 20 people here from Norway so they can say, ‘It is true she did get an Oscar,'” Ullmann said.

Glover also kept family and heritage at the forefront while accepting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The 75-year-old known for his roles in “Lethal Weapon” and “The Color Purple” has been a progressive activist for many years, advocating for civil rights, working as a United Nations goodwill ambassador and a U.N. children’s agency ambassador.

His mother grew up in Jim Crow-era Georgia and his father served in World War II before coming to San Francisco, where they both worked for the postal service and instilled civic responsibility in their young son.

“I’m amazingly grateful for this moment,” Glover said, speaking at length about his grandparents’ decision to send their kids to school instead of work.

“I haven’t referred to the teleprompter at all. Sometimes we as actors get a little lost without a script,” he said. “But I’m proud to be part of this space and place.”

___

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Jorge Carballo, one of the top administrators at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, is s...
Associated Press

Hurricane deaths at nursing home: accident or manslaughter?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla (AP) — A Florida nursing home administrator charged with causing the overheating deaths of nine patients after Hurricane Irma in 2017 went on trial Monday, with a prosecutor calling him a “captain who abandoned ship” while his attorney said he’s a “scapegoat” for failures of the electric company to restore power. Prosecutor […]
13 hours ago
FILE - This Oct. 3, 2012 file photo shows the Jim Beam visitors center at its central distillery in...
Associated Press

Kentucky Bourbon Trail attendance reaches record heights

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Bourbon tourism reached new heights last year in Kentucky, where visitors flocked to large and small distilleries as the whiskey-making attractions shook off any pandemic-era hangover. Attendance at distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail surpassed 2 million in 2022 for the first time ever, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced. Venerable bourbon […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

AMC to charge more for good seats in movie theaters

NEW YORK (AP) — Middle seats at many U.S. movie theaters just got more expensive. AMC Theaters, the nation’s largest movie theater chain, on Monday unveiled a new pricing scheme in which seat location determines how much your movie ticket costs. Seats in the middle of the auditorium will cost a dollar or two more, […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Legal sizes for lobsters could change to protect population

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The rules about the minimum and maximum sizes of lobsters that can be trapped off New England could soon become stricter, potentially bringing big changes to one of the most valuable seafood industries in the country. Fishers are required to measure lobsters from eyes to tail and must throw back the […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. on Oct. ...
Associated Press

Meta to buy VR startup Within after favorable court ruling

A federal judge has sided with Facebook parent Meta and cleared the way for the company to buy virtual reality startup Within Unlimited, the maker of the popular fitness app Supernatural. Federal antitrust regulators had sought to block the acquisition on the grounds that it would hurt competition in the emerging virtual reality market. But […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Russia’s revenue falls sharply in January from year earlier

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s finance ministry said Monday that budget revenue in January was 35% lower compared with the same month in 2022, the last month before Russia sent troops into Ukraine. The ministry also said the budget deficit for January was 1.77 trillion rubles ($23.9 billion), about 60% of the shortfall that had been […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Oscars celebrate May, Jackson, Ullmann and Glover