Kathleen Kennedy, a producer who has been nominated for Oscars for her work on films like “The Sixth Sense,” “E.T.” and “The Color Purple,” will become the first woman to receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award this November.
Kennedy will share the honor with her husband Frank Marshall who will also receive the award this year.
Known as an honorary Oscar, the Thalberg Memorial Award is given periodically at the Governors Awards (hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) to "creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production,” according to the Academy.
Kennedy, who was born in Northern California, graduated from San Diego State University and worked at NBC 7’s predecessor KCST as a news production coordinator. She also produced a San Diego talk show before moving to LA to start her career in the film industry.
In 1982, Kennedy co-founded Amblin Entertainment (“Back to the Future,” “Schindler’s List,” “Jurassic World”) with Steven Spielberg and future husband Marshall. With Marshall, she also co-founded the Kennedy/Marshall Company (“Snow Falling on Cedars,” “Seabiscuit,” “The Bourne Identity”) in 1992.
Kennedy has won dozens of awards in her four decades in the business, including a Producers Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, Art Directors Guild Award, five BAFTA nominations and eight Oscar nominations for Best Picture – most recently for “Lincoln.”
She was an executive producer along with Spielberg on both “Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List.”
She is also the president of Lucasfilm and has been involved with several of the Indiana Jones films, including the new untitled film coming out in 2021.
The Thalberg Memorial Award was established in 1937 and past recipients have included Walt Disney, Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The award was last given to Francis Ford Coppola in 2010.