Jerry Lewis was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award tonight.
Here are some honorary Oscar tidbits and trivia from the L.A. Times Oscars blog ...
"Jerry Lewis is the 33rd recipient of the Jean Hersholt humanitarian award. The academy bestows this honor on "an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry." Lewis is being feted for his more than half century of service to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. During his long film career, Lewis was never nominated for an Oscar. However, he did serve as host of the 28th and 29th Oscars as well as one of many co-hosts of the 31st Oscars.
The award is named for the Danish actor ("Greed," "Heidi") and translator of Hans Christian Andersen tales who co-founded the Motion Picture Relief Fund in 1939. He received an honorary Oscar for his efforts the following year and went to serve as academy president for from 1945 - 1949, receiving a second honorary Oscar in the last year of his tenure. Soon after he died in 1956, the academy created his honorary award in his name. The first recipient was Paramount exec Y. Frank Freeman. Among the more famous faces to receive this award are: Bob Hope (1957), Gregory Peck (1967), Frank Sinatra (1970), Rosalind Russell (1972), Charlton Heston (1977), Danny Kaye (1981), both Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor (1992), Paul Newman (1993), and Quincy Jones (1994). The most recent recipient was another Paramount exec - Sherry Lansing - in 2007.
There have been 115 honorary or special Oscars bestowed since the first ceremony but none this year. Last year, production designer Robert Boyle was feted for his lifetime of achievement. At the age of 98, the four-time Oscar nominee was the oldest honoree in academy history.
Bob Hope, who hosted a record 18 Oscars including 11 solo gigs, received four honorary awards from the academy: a silver plague "in recognition of his unselfish service to the Motion Picture Industry" in 1940; a life membership in 1944; an Oscar statuette "for his contribution to the laughter of the world, his service to the motion picture industry, and his devotion to the American premise" in 1952; and a gold medal in 1965 for "unique and distinguished service to our industry and the Academy.""