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Vanessa Redgrave honored by Oscars Academy

Get more: Oscars, Celeb Lives
11/13/2011 by Olivia Allin

Vanessa Redgrave was honored by the Oscars Academy on Sunday for her work as an actress and activist.

Redgrave was joined by fellow actors and friends Ralph Fiennes, Meryl Streep and James Earl Jones at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences retrospective.

"I love this woman. My wife understands," said James Earl Jones, according to the Associated Press. "I stand in profound admiration of her courage, both on and off the stage."

Jones received an honorary Academy Award on Saturday and is currently starring alongside Redgrave in "Driving Miss Daisy" on the London stage.

Redgrave has been nominated for six Academy Awards and won an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1977 film "Julia," as an anti-Nazi activist.

The Jewish Defense League famously objected to her nomination and picketed the Oscar ceremony because Redgrave had narrated and helped fund a documentary entitled "The Palestinian," which supported a Palestinian state.

In her controversial acceptance speech, Redgrave gave kudos to the academy for not being intimidated by "a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression."

Streep made her film debut in "Julia" and told the Associated Press that Redgrave's speech was the moment she realized that "fame was not just this stupid vanity ... you could use it to make a difference in the world."

Born into a British acting family that includes her father, sister, brother and two daughters, Redgrave has appeared in over 100 films. She has also worked as a UNICEF ambassador and as a left-wing political activist.

The 74-year-old actress has appeared in films like "Howards End," "Blow-Up," "Deep Impact," "Letters to Juliet" and "Anonymous."

Oprah Winfrey was also honored by the Oscars Academy, at the Governors Awards ceremony on Saturday. The former talk show host received the Academy of Motion Picture's Arts & Science's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which is given for philanthropic efforts.

"I never imagined myself receiving an Oscar, especially for doing what I believe is part of my calling, part of my being, it's a part of why I am here" Winfrey said tearfully at the ceremony, which won't be televised but appears in clips on the Oscar's website.

The 57-year-old media mogul was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar for her 1985 film, "The Color Purple."

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