US film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation, will receive an honorary Oscar for his philanthropic work, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday. Katzenberg will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on December 1 at the Governors Awards dinner, which has marked the start of the Hollywood awards season since they began in 2009.
"Jeffrey Katzenberg has been instrumental in raising money for education, art and health-related causes, particularly those benefiting the motion picture industry," the Academy said.
"During more than two decades as chairman of the board for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, he helped to raise $200 million for the organization," it said.
Katzenberg, who has had a long career as a producer, notably alongside Steven Spielberg, is today the head of DreamWorks Animation, a studio with such hits as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar.He was nominated for an Oscar in 2003 for the animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, but lost to Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award -- named after actor Jean Hersholt (1886-1956), a longtime president of the Academy -- rewards remarkable humanitarian achievements by an entertainment industry figure.The award has been given out intermittently by the Academy since 1956. Previous recipients include Bob Hope, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Jerry Lewis and Oprah Winfrey.
During the ceremony, honorary Oscars also will be given to stuntman Hal Needham, documentary filmmaker DA Pennebaker and the founder of the American Film Institute, George Stevens Jr.