Samuel L. Jackson Just Received His First-Ever Oscar, But Not For A Movie

By Nathan Kamal | 2 months ago

Samuel L Jackson

As a species, we have finally achieved an important milestone: Samuel L Jackson now has an Academy Award. Despite his films grossing more money than any other star in the literal history of film as a medium, despite working in every genre possible while still remaining one of the hardest working people in show business (and the resume to prove it), despite being the only person cool enough to merit having a lightsaber color of his very own, Jackson somehow did not have an Academy Award till just now. And if we are going to be petty about it, it is still a bit unfair that he does not actually have an Academy Award for acting. So what kind of Oscar does he have then? Take a look at the actual acceptance: 

Last night at the annual Governors Awards, Samuel L Jacksons received an honorary Academy Award for a lifetime of achievement in cinema. The award, which is presented before the competitive Oscars ceremony and is not currently televised, was given to Jackson by his longtime friend and one of the few people who could conceivably be called his peer, legendary actor Denzel Washington. We would like to mention for the record that Washington currently has two Academy Awards, both of which were richly merited (for Glory and Training Day, respectively). One way in which Jackson and Washington have parallel careers in that both were at one point expected to win an Academy Award that instead went to an older actor in what has been perceived by some to be de facto lifetime achievement awards. Whereas Denzel Washington has recently expressed relief that he did not win the award for playing Malcolm X in Spike Lee’s biopic, Samuel L Jackson has been very clear about his feelings about losing to Martin Landu in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. 

samuel l jackson

Despite that, Samuel L Jackson did look genuinely touched, thrilled, and happy to receive the Academy Award. He spent time thanking three very important people in his life: his wife, actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson, his longtime collaborator Quentin Tarantino, and of course, his wigmaker. Other people honored at the Governor’s Awards were groundbreaking comedian and filmmaker Elaine May, Swedish actor and director Liv Ullmann, and actor and activist Danny Glover. All in all, this year’s batch of honorees at the Awards were an exceedingly deserving bunch, even by the standards of Hollywood icons. 

It is also a little amusing to imagine that Samuel L Jackson is receiving an award for his lifetime of work and achievement in Hollywood, when he doubtlessly will have filmed several more movies by next weekend. The 73-year old actor currently has six different projects in production, including a starring role in the Disney+ streaming series Secret Invasion and Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming ensemble spy thriller Argylle. With any luck, Samuel L Jackson will receive many more chances to win a competitive Academy Award in the years to come. There is no doubt that he absolutely deserves the one he just received.