'Star Wars' producer Kennedy, Cicely Tyson to get lifetime awards

Producer Kathleen Kennedy attends a promotional event of the movie "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in Tokyo, Japan December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy and veteran actress Cicely Tyson will receive honorary awards this year, recognizing their lifetime achievements in the movie industry, the Motion Picture Academy said on Wednesday.

Kennedy, who will be honored with her producer husband Frank Marshall, will be the first woman to receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award that is given to film producers annually for their body of work.

Kennedy and Marshall co-founded Amblin Entertainment with director Steven Spielberg in 1981, producing box office hits that went on to become movie favorites including “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park” and “The Color Purple.”

In 2012, Kennedy became president of Lucasfilm, reviving the “Star Wars” space saga and producing new hits “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

New York-born Tyson, 93, is one of most respected African-American actresses in showbusiness, appearing in films, plays, and television, including recent roles in “The Help,” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Tyson will be awarded an honorary Oscar.

Argentinian musician Lalo Schifrin, the composer of movie scores like “Dirty Harry,” will also receive an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, along with publicist Marvin Levy, who has worked with Spielberg for more than 40 years.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the annual Oscars, said in a statement the honorary awards would be presented at a gala dinner in Los Angeles in November.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Chris Reese