Skip to main content

Danny Glover is one of those actors who many fans probably assume already has an Academy Award. After all, the actor has appeared in so many movies over the years. And regardless of whether he’s leading an action blockbuster like Lethal Weapon or lending some support in a smaller production, Glover never misses. And now the Oscars have found a surprising reason to finally get the actor an Academy Award.

Danny Glover wears a cap and poses on the red carpet
Danny Glover | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Danny Glover has more than 40 years of movie experience

Generations of moviegoers have grown up in Glover on their screen. The actor made an inauspicious film debut as an inmate in 1979’s Escape from Alcatraz. But it didn’t take long for him to start getting bigger parts. In the 1980s, Glover rose to fame with key role in films like Places in the Heart, Silverado, and Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. Then just a couple of years later, he starred opposite Mel Gibson in 1987’s Lethal Weapon.

That film became a smash hit, and Glover reunited with Gibson and director Richard Donner for three sequels between 1989 and 1998. But Glover kept busy with roles in just about every genre. He starred in Disney’s Angels in the Outfield, reunited with his The Color Purple co-star Oprah Winfrey for Beloved, joined the ensemble cast of The Royal Tenenbaums, and kicked off an iconic horror franchise with a major role in 2004’s Saw.

The 2022 Oscars gave the veteran actor a special award

Yet, despite his incredible and varied body of work, Glover never won an Academy Award. Even more shockingly, he never even received a nomination. But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally addressed that egregious omission with its 12th Governors Awards, held on Jan. 15, 2022. At that ceremony, Glover received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Past recipients include Tyler Perry, Geena Davis, and Debbie Reynolds.

The award is given “to an individual in the motion picture arts and sciences whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry,” according to the Oscars website. In a statement, academy president David Rubin said Glover won because his “decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen.” Glover has a long history of advocating for economic justice as well as health care access both domestically and in Africa.


Whoopi Goldberg Got High Before Winning Her Oscar for ‘Ghost’ to Calm Down

Danny Glover isn’t the only one who received overdue recognition

Glover was the sole recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2022. But three other honorees received special recognition at the Governors Awards. These Hollywood legends all received the Honorary Award “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.”

Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May, and Liv Ullmann all have decades of experience in the industry. Jackson, of course, has been a big-screen mainstay since the early 1990s. Most recently, fans know him as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. May, meanwhile, is a trailblazing comedian, actor, writer, and director. And Ullmann delivered many iconic performances, including some in the films of Ingmar Bergman.

The 94th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on February 8, 2022.