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Oscar to honor martial arts star Jackie Chan

Actor-director Jackie Chan, whose balletic choreography and cheeky humor in dozens of martial arts and action films have made him one of the most popular movie stars in the world, will be presented with the Governors Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy’s Board of Governors announced on Thursday that Chan would be one of four recipients of this year’s Governors Awards, given to honor “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

Also being honored this year are film editor Anne V. Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman.

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs called this year’s recipients of Honorary Oscars “true pioneers and legends in their crafts.”

A native of Hong Kong, Chan trained as part of a martial arts group and made his film debut at age eight. He worked as a stuntman on “Fist of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon,” starring Bruce Lee. He later starred in “New Fists of Fury,” launching a career as an action star in both period and contemporary films, often blending comedy with jaw-dropping acrobatics. Among his biggest hits were “Drunken Master,” “The Young Master” and the “Police Story” series. He also served forays in Hollywood films, including “The Cannonball Run,” “The Big Brawl,” “Rumble in the Bronx,” “Rush Hour,” “Shanghai Noon” and “The Tuxedo.”

Famed for doing his own stunts, his catalog of injuries mentions a broken nose (four times), dislocated shoulder, broken breastbone, broken fingers, knee damage, skull fracture, cheek bone dislocation, cervical spine damage, thigh injury, two broken ankles and a lacerated lip -- and that’s just for starters. And anyone who doubts Chan has suffered for his art need only watch the outtakes that typically close his films, such as this footage from “Police Story 2”:

Jackie Chan ~ Police Story II (O.S.T. Outtakes) by EvilBloodgod on YouTube

In a career extending beyond 60 years, Anne V. Coates, who has worked with such directors as David Lean, Sidney Lumet, Richard Attenborough, David Lynch and Steven Soderbergh, won an Academy Award for editing “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962). She was also nominated for Oscars for “Becket,” “The Elephant Man,” “In the Line of Fire” and “Out of Sight.”

Below: One of the most famous jump cuts in cinema, from “Lawrence of Arabia”:

Lawrence of Arabia (1/8) Movie CLIP - A Funny Sense of Fun (1962) HD by Movieclips on YouTube

Her other credits include “The Horse’s Mouth,” “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes,” “Chaplin,” “Out of Sight,” “Erin Brockovich” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

A former actor, Lynn Stalmaster began working in casting in 1950s television. As one of Hollywood’s legendary casting directors, he was responsible for casting such classics as “Pork Chop Hill,” “The Hallelujah Trail,” “The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!” “In the Heat of the Night,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The Reivers,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Harold and Maude,” “The Cowboys,” “Deliverance,” “Coming Home,” “Scorpio,” “Sleeper,” “Bound for Glory,” “New York, New York,” “Superman,” “The Onion Field,” “Stir Crazy,” “Blow Out,” “Tootsie” and “The Right Stuff.”

He is the first casting director to be honored by the Academy.

Documentarian Frederick Wiseman’s long, observational films -- which usually unspool without a narrator’s voice -- reward viewers with illuminating, intimate peeks into the lives of his subjects, or in the dehumanizing effects of institutions.

His first documentary feature, “Titicut Follies,” went behind the scenes at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Mass., revealing the shocking conditions under which inmates were treated. Massachusetts sought an injunction against the film’s release, and for years screenings were limited. It would finally be broadcast on PBS in 1992, and has since earned a reputation as a muckraking classic.

Wiseman’s other films include “Welfare,” “Meat,” “The Store,” “Blind,” “Central Park,” “Domestic Violence,” “Public Housing,” “La Danse,” “At Berekely,” “National Gallery,” and “In Jackson Heights.”

Though never an Oscar nominee, he won Emmys for “Law and Order” (1969), about police in Kansas City, Missouri; and “Hospital” (1970), about the staff and patients of a New York City medical center.

The Academy’s 8th annual Governors Awards will be presented on Saturday, November 12, in Los Angeles.

Last year’s honorees were actresses Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds and writer-director Spike Lee.

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