And the Oscar goes to... Jackie Chan

The martial arts movie star was one of four Academy members voted to receive this year's honorary prize

Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan arrives at a BFI celebration of Chinese cinema in London in 2014 [Daniel Leal-Olivas / PA Archive/Press Association Images]

With awards season about to kick off now that a summer of lacklustre blockbusters has left a blemish on the cinematic year 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has just revealed that it will bestow an honorary award on the Chinese martial arts star Jackie Chan. Other recipients this year include film editor Anne V Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and documentarian Frederick Wiseman.

The vote for the honorary awards was held last week, with the awards ceremony scheduled to take place at the eighth annual Governors Awards in November.

Honorary awards are handed out by the Academy in recognition of lifetime achievements, exceptional contributions to motion picture arts and sciences and outstanding service to the Academy itself. Last year’s recipients included Gena Rowlands and Spike Lee.

Chan, 62, was already a well-established star in Hong Kong before he moved to Hollywood, having written, produced, and starred in more than 30 feature films before his first American feature in 1996’s Rumble in the Bronx. Known for performing his own stunts and affecting a disarmingly sweet comedic performance style, he also starred in films such as the Rush Hour franchise, Shanghai Noon, Around the World in 80 Days, and the recent remake of The Karate Kid.

When voting for the honorary awards, the Academy’s board of governors is known for spreading its four prizes across different branches of the film industry. Anne V Coates, 90, is already an Oscar-winner, having bagged an Academy Award for her work on editing 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia. She also received nominations for Becket, The Elephant Man, In the Line of Fire, and Out of Sight.

Lynn Stalmaster, 88, was an actor on stage and screen before becoming a prolific casting director. In a career spanning 60 years, he has been responsible for selecting cast members for more than 500 features, including In the Heat of the Night and Tootsie. Frederick Wiseman, 86, started his career as a documentary filmmaker with 1967’s Titicut Follies, and has become renowned for his long, lingering and uninterrupted takes without any commentary. He has never previously been nominated for an Oscar.

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