The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is embracing some new honorary recipients. Oscar organizers bestowed accolades on four film industry veterans on Saturday. Among them, "Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola who received the night's biggest honor -- the Irving G. Thalberg Award, for visionary producing. In presenting the award to Coppola, "Star Wars" director George Lucas described the filmmaking legend as a trailblazer and mentor for many of his peers in the late 1960s and 1970s. Lucas said, quote, "He was our leader. He was our inspiration." The Thalberg trophy is considered to be the Academy's highest honor.
Other honorees in the spotlight at the Academy's Governors Awards Saturday night included French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, actor Eli Wallach and film historian Kevin Brownlow.