Robert Altman to get honorary Oscar
During his career Altman has directed 37 films and written 16 of them but has never won an Oscar, despite being nominated five times for M.A.S.H., Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts and Gosford Park.
Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, said: "He is a master film maker and well deserves this honour.
"The board was taken with Altman's innovation, his redefinition of genres, his invention of new ways of using the film medium and his reinvigoration of old ones."
He started his career making documentaries and educational films before his Hollywood debut with The Delinquents. His big break came in 1970 when he directed M.A.S.H., starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt.
His films have included Pret A Porter, McCabe And Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, Thieves Like Us and Popeye.
Despite turning 81 next month, Altman is still busy and he has just completed filming his next film A Prairie Home Companion, which stars Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep.
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