Francis Ford Coppola, director of the legnedary Godfather movies, received the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award Sunday at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Coppola has produced more than 30 films, including The Black Stallion, The Outsiders and Lost in Translation.
Many stars turned out for the event and some even had very special things to say about and to Coppola. Robert DeNiro called him "an inspiration and one of my biggest influences".
The genius behind Star Wars, George Lucas, called Coppola "my big brother and my mentor". He continued: "He taught me how to write. He taught me how to direct. He actually personified a whole era of the American film industry. He was our leader. He was our inspiration."
This special lifetime Oscar has only been given 38 times since it was established in 1937, which makes Coppola's achievement quite honorable. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science said it was given to "a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production".