It was announced on Monday that actor, director, filmmaker and humanitarian George Clooney would receive the Cecil B. Demille award at the 2015 Golden Globes. Over the years Clooney has gone from television heartthrob and cheesy Batman to one of the industry's most respected actors and serious filmmakers. His projects tackle politics, history, and human rights.
Along with his work on screen and behind the camera, Clooney will be recognized for his charitable efforts, particularly for his outreach in Darfur. He is a well-deserving honoree for the award which recognizes an individual's exceptional contributions to the entertainment industry and the world at-large.
However, the Cecil B. Demille award has a history of not recognizing women. Since 1953, only 13 women have received the honor —That is quite a disheartening figure. Here are 9 women who also deserve recognition for their expansive careers and impactful work as humanitarians. Take a look.
Not only is Streep consistently regarded as the finest actress of her genetation, she’s also one of the most charitable. Streep’s contributions to the entertaiment industry are only trumped by those of her contributions to the non-profits and foundations she supports. Her many causes include women’s rights, education, and arts funding.
Oprah Winfrey is quite possibly the most famous woman on the planet. Her legacy spans decades on television where she rose to Goddess-like status amongst her fans. Winfrey’s empire has expanded to film, print, and online media, as well as fashion, nutrition, and nearly all sectors of pop culture. Since leaving her talk show and starting her own Network, Winfrey has returned to acting and was recently critically acclaimed for her role in The Butler. Along with her unrivaled presence in American pop culture, she is one of the industry’s biggest philanthropists. It’s hard to think about Oprah without thinking about her global outreach.
She’s made you laugh as much as she’s made you cry both on the big screen, little screen, and on stage. Bette Midler is an entertainer to the utmost degree. She’s also a volunteer, donator, and spokesperson for dozens of causes and charities including the New York Restoration Project, which she founded.
Angelina Jolie has transformed her career from Hollywood leading lady and action star to global advocate for human rights. Her good work is far-reaching and includes acting as the Goodwill Ambassador for the The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. While she’s the world’s most famous humanitarian, she also manages to still rake it in big in the box office. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Another famously charitable actor, Susan Sarandon has had a career in Hollywood that has spanned more than four decades. An Academy-Award winner and multiple nominee of the Golden Globes, Sarandon continues to stun audiences and the industry with her gutsy work.
Frances McDormand is famous for not playing by Hollywood’s rules. An outspoken advocate for the arts and education, her contributions reach much further than just the audiences of her films. With her upcoming role in the HBO miniseries Oliver Kitteridge, she will add even more accolades to her television career and already stunning film history.
There are few actors in Hollywood who can be as highly lauded for their dramatic roles as much as their comedic roles. Sandra Bullock is one of the rare entertainers who can easily transition between the genres and nail it every single time. Her outreach spans multiple causes, most notably adopting the Warren Easton Charter High School after it was hit with $4 million in damages after Hurricane Katrina. Bullock continually supports efforts to rebuild New Orleans, where she calls home.
Maggie Smith is royalty when it comes to film, television, and theater. Her long career has included such iconic roles as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series, the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey, Constance in Gosford Park, and a career-making turn as Desdemona in 1965’s Othello. She has remained a most distinguished actor for nearly 60 years.
Halle Berry makes being one of the most sough-after actors in the industry seem easy. She is always transforming on screen from playing famous superheroes to tackling immensely difficult dramatic roles. Berry is also a major advocate for the fight against hunger and is a champion for women’s rights.