Year: 2001 (74th) Academy Awards
Category: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Winner: Arthur Hiller
Presenter: Ali MacGraw, Ryan O'Neal
Date & Venue: March 24, 2002; Kodak Theatre
Thank you, Mama. Thank you, Papa. It feels humbling to receive a humanitarian award for doing what my parents brought me up to do. I had an unbelievably caring mother and father who lived their lives with the moral values of love and compassion, of respect and responsibility, of human dignity and standing up for what's right. Even though they had a hard time earning a living they helped the poor and the hungry and they also helped others who needed the support of a friend or someone to stand up for their rights. They felt all other people as individual human beings and judged them by their actions, not by their color or their race or their religion.
I wish I could say that I'm as strong as they were in all those areas, but I'm so grateful to them for instilling these values in my loving sisters and me. And I'm so grateful to my loving wife and our wonderful children. My wife's so supportive. And Henryk and Erica just can't be better. Gwen and the kids are always behind me and sometimes pushing me to live up to those values. It's so embarrassing to receive an award for doing what you should be doing, but I must admit it pleases me greatly. And it especially honors me to receive it from this Academy that I respect so deeply and that has always meant so much to me personally. Thank you.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]