Year: 1983 (56th) Academy Awards
Category: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Winner: M. J. Frankovich
Presenter: Frank Sinatra
Date & Venue: April 9, 1984; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
M. J. FRANKOVICH:
Thank you, Frank. This is a great honor for me, and to receive it from Frank Sinatra makes it a little more special. And I'm deeply appreciative to the Motion Picture Academy and its Board of Governors for choosing me to join such illustrious company as Frank Sinatra and the other past winners of the Jean Hersholt Award. Each of them has been a beacon to the rest of us in the motion picture industry and we have all gained in stature through their generosity, their caring, and their concern.
As I stand here tonight, I can't help but think that I lived and was brought up just a couple of blocks from here. I sold newspapers down the street on the corner of First and Broadway. I also think of all the people in our profession who I have learned from and who have helped me along the way. There was Doug Fairbanks, Sr. who gave me my first job in the motion pictures. And I was nine years old and I played a choirboy in a picture called "Rosita." Doug Fairbanks was a man who cared about kids and I liked him for that. I learned even more about caring and loving children from Joe E. Brown who was like a second father to me.
I owe a lot to my dear friend Leo Jaffe who brought me into the Columbia Pictures and who showed me that even when running a big company there was always enough time to help someone who needed help. And for my years in England I shall always remember the shining example from Lord Louis Mountbatten. I saw how much he loved children. I saw it first in India, in China, and during World War II. I saw it afterwards in the East End of London. And I learned what it meant to be gracious and to be compassionate from a beautiful actress, a beautiful star, and my leading lady for forty-four years, Binnie Barnes.
I would like to share this award with each of these people who I've spoken about who meant so much to me with all of you in the entertainment industry, especially the men and women of the Variety Clubs International, the greatest children's charity in the world. Thank you. Thank you very much.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]