"Godfather" director Coppola to get lifetime Oscar

Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:41pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola is to get a lifetime achievement Oscar to add to his stack of five Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Wednesday.

Coppola, 71, who also wrote and directed Vietnam War movie "Apocalypse Now" and the 1974 thriller "The Conversation", will receive the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award. It will be handed out at a dinner in November in Los Angeles, ahead of the main Oscar ceremony in February 2011.

The lifetime achievement nod is given to "a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production."

Coppola won most of his five Oscars for "The Godfather" series of movies about Italian American Corleone crime family in the 1940s and 1950s.

He is also credited for launching the career of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas when he produced Lucas's first two feature films, "THX 1138" and "American Graffiti."

Honorary Oscars will also be handed out to legendary French director Jean-Luc Godard, whose films include "Breathless" and "The Seven Deadly Sins", character actor Eli Wallach, 94, and film historian and documentary maker Kevin Brownlow.

"Each of these honorees has touched movie audiences worldwide and influenced the motion picture industry through their work," Academy president Tom Sherak said in a statement. "It will be an honor to celebrate their extraordinary achievements and contributions."

(Reporting by Zorianna Kit; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

<p>Film director Francis Ford Coppola answers a question during a news conference at the Estoril Film Festival November 8, 2009. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro</p>