Angelina Jolie receives the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2013 Governors Awards and gives empowering speech about the importance of service to others.
Angelina Jolie, who won Best Supporting Actress for the 1999 film “Girl, Interrupted,” was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences again on Saturday night with an honorary Oscar. Jolie was given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2013 Governors Awards, an honor bestowed upon those in Hollywood “whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” (Past winners include Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Lewis, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.)
“It’s quite overwhelming,” Jolie said when accepting her award, before reciting an elegant acceptance speech that included mention of Louis Zamperini, the World War II veteran and former POW who is the subject of Jolie’s next film, her family (Brad Pitt and son Maddox Jolie-Pitt were in the audience) and her mother. “She wasn’t really the best critic since she never had anything unkind to say, but she did give me love and confidence,” Jolie said of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 after battling ovarian cancer. “Above all, she was very clear that nothing would mean anything if I didn’t live a life of use to others. And I didn’t know what that meant for a long time. […] It was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home that I understand my responsibility to others.”