Wes Studi to be Given Honorary Oscar by Academy Board of Governors

Wes Studi speaks before the National Indian Gaming Association in April 2018. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert

Published June 4, 2019

LOS ANGELES — American Indian actor Wes Studi (Cherokee) will be given an honorary Oscar at by the Academy Board of Governors at the cademy’s 11th Annual Governors Awards on Sunday, October 27, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center.

The Academy announced Monday that its Board of Governors voted (Saturday, June 1) to present Honorary Awards to David Lynch, Wes Studi and Lina Wertmüller, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Geena Davis.

Wes Stdid – Photo credit Maura Dhu Studi

Studi is known for his portrayal of Native Americans in a way that forever changed their stereotype in the movie industry. He has appeard in over 30 films. Breaking new ground, he brought fully developed Native American characters to the screen, and then took it a step further highlighting the success of Native Americans in non-traditional roles. Throughout his 30-year career he’s won numerous awards, including several First Americans in the Arts awards and the 2009 Santa Fe Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

In February 2018, Studi, a Vietnam vet, was invited to present at the 90th Academy Awards, where he introduced a video montage of military movies as a tribute to U.S. veterans. He is a passionate advocate for Native American issues and a leader in promoting and preserving indigenous languages.

Studi’s credits include 1990’s Dances with Wolves, 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans, 1993’s Geronimo: An American Legend, 2005’s The New World and 2009’s Avatar.

He becomes only the second Indigenous person ever to receive an Oscar. Singer/song writer Buffy Sainte-Marie shared an Oscar for best original song Oscar for “Up Where We Belong” for 1982’s An Officer And a Gentleman.

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