Legacy Direct Blog

Jerry Lewis Receives Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards Ceremony

Posted on: February 23, 2009

Jerry Lewis, the 82-year old actor best known for his comedy routines alongside Dean Martin in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, is also a very influential humanitarian.  For a good part of his life, Lewis has hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, an annual event that raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Since its inception in 1960 and its first nationally televised event in 1966, the telethon has raised $1.46 billion to help fight muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, hereditary muscle diseases that weaken the muscles of the human body.  Please click here for more information on the telethon, which occurs every year on Labor Day Weekend:


Lewis is among a select group of actors and actresses deeply committed to humanitarian efforts, including the late Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and the late Frank Sinatra.  Here is the full list of past recipients of the award:

Past Recipients of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:

Year First Name Last Name
1956 Y. Frank Freeman
1957 Samuel Goldwyn
1959 Bob Hope
1960 Sol  Lesser
1961 George Seaton
1962 Steve  Broidy
1965 Edmond L. DePatie
1966 George Bagnall
1967 Gregory Peck
1968 Martha Raye
1969 George Jessel
1970 Frank Sinatra
1972 Rosalind Russell
1973 Lew Wasserman
1974 Arthur B. Krim
1975 Jules C. Stein
1977 Charlton Heston
1978 Leo Jaffe
1979 Robert Benjamin
1981 Danny Kaye
1982 Walter Mirisch
1983 M.J. Frankovich
1984 David L. Wolper
1985 Charles “Buddy” Rogers
1989 Howard W. Koch
1992* Audrey   Hepburn
1992* Elizabeth Taylor
1993 Paul Newman
1994 Quincy Jones
2001 Arthur   Hiller
2005 Roger Mayer
2007 Sherry Lansing
2009 Jerry Lewis
* Two Oscars were presented
to both Audrey Hepburn and
Elizabeth Taylor in 1992  

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