It was a momentous night for Angelina Jolie as she was honored at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s 5th annual Governors Awards over the weekend in Los Angeles. Accompanied by Brad Pitt and son Maddox, along with some of Hollywood’s finest—Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Garner, Octavia Spencer, Naomie Harris, Amy Adams and more—Jolie’s heavy dedication to her humanitarian work garnered her the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, making her both the youngest person and seventh woman to receive the award, not to mention raising her Oscar statuette count to two (she won in 2000 for her supporting role in Girl, Interrupted).
During Jolie’s emotional acceptance speech, she paid tribute to her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who passed away in 2007 from ovarian cancer. “She was very clear that nothing would mean anything if I didn’t live a life of use to others,” Jolie said. “And I didn’t know what that meant for a long time…It was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home that I understand my responsibility to others.” With over 30 films to her name, Jolie has been involved in more than 40 United Nations Refugee Agency field missions, and in addition to being a mother and a director, she has founded several charitable organizations, and she’s still doing more. “I will do as my mother asked and do the best I can with this life, be of use, and to stand here today means that I did as she asked and if she were alive, she’d be very proud.” Jolie joins fellow Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipients—Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Quincy Jones, and others —and continued the night in celebrating fellow honorees Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury, and Piero Tosi.