Francis Ford Coppola Earns Lifetime Achievement Oscar

Sunday, Nov 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 AM PDT
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Francis Ford Coppola Earns Lifetime Achievement Oscar

Richard Harbaugh / �A.M.P.A.S.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood�, CA, Saturday, November 13. Pictured here at the event (left to right): Oscar�-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy, Oscar-winning actor Robert Duvall, Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach, Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award recipient Francis Ford Coppola, Previous Oscar-nominee Talia Shire, Previous Oscar-nominee James Caan, Oscar-winning director Sofia Coppola and Two time Oscar�-winning actor Robert DeNiro.

Francis Ford Coppola can add another gold trophy to his collection - and it may be his biggest one yet.

The "Godfather" director accepted a lifetime achievement Oscar -  the Irving Talberg Memorial Award - at a Los Angeles ceremony on Saturday, BBC reported.

"I have a great love of the original Hollywood tradition and admiration for the tradition of Irving Thalberg," the celebrated director said in his acceptance speech to an audience of A-list Hollywood actors and big names in the industry.

Star Wars mastermind George Lucas praised the legendary director and producer, calling Coppola "my big brother and my mentor"

"He taught me how to write," Lucas said. "He taught me how to direct. He actually personified a whole era of the American film industry. He was our leader. He was our inspiration."

The prestigious award has only been given out 38 times since it was established in 1937, the BBC reported.

Coppola's impressive accomplishments include 33 titles, such as The Black Stallion (1979), Apocalypse Now, and of course The Godfather Trilogy, which earned him four Oscars. His daughter Sofia, who was also there at the ceremony, scored a nomination for father-daughter collaboration, Lost in Translation (2003).

The honors - normally awarded during the Oscars - were held ahead of the Academy's ceremony on February 27th to speed up the upcoming awards show, according to Reuters.

Other notables who applauded the director at the ceremony were Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, and Robert DiNero.

Trophies were also handed out to director Jean-Luc Godard, actor Eli Wallach, and film historian Kevin Brownlow.

Selected Reading: BBC, Reuters

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