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Debbie Reynolds to Receive Honorary Oscar for Her Work in Mental Health


Debbie Reynolds will receive an Honorary Award at this year’s Governors Awards for her work in mental health, according to a Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press release.

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The Governors Awards is an annual event honoring people in the entertainment industry who are selected by the Academy’s board of governors. The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to individuals in the entertainment industry for “extraordinary life achievement, exceptional contributions to the motion picture arts and sciences or outstanding service to the Academy,” according to the Academy’s website.

Reynolds, an iconic Hollywood actress and entertainer, was one of the founding members of The Thalians, a group formed by people in the entertainment industry in 1955 to raise awareness of reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, according to the organization’s website. The “Singin’ in the Rain” star served as the group’s president almost continuously from 1957 through 2011 and served as chair of the board for additional terms, according to the Academy. Due in large part to Reynolds’s work, the Thalians were able to donate millions of dollars to the Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai and to Operation Mend, an organization at UCLA that works with veterans to recover from psychological injuries after returning from war.

Reynolds, now 83, will receive her award at the Academy’s 7th Annual Governors Awards on November 14, 2015. The other 2015 honorees are filmmaker and director Spike Lee for his work with young filmmakers and actress Gena Rowlands for her lifelong dedication to independent film, the Academy reported.

Read the Academy’s full press release here.

Feature photo via Wikimedia Commons.