Debbie Reynolds, the recipient of this year’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, was unable to attend the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards Saturday night.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Academy issued a statement Friday saying, “The Academy and the family of Debbie Reynolds announce that due to an unexpectedly long recovery from a recent surgery, Reynolds will regretfully be unable to attend.”
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) November 14, 2015
In Debbie Reynolds stead, granddaughter Billie Lourd accepted the award on the 83-year-old Hollywood legend’s behalf. The 23-year-old Scream Queens actress attended the ceremony alongside her mom, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) November 13, 2015
“I’m heartbroken that I’m unable to be there in person to receive this extraordinary honor you have given me — so you could see how unbelievably happy you have made me. If joy could be weighed, this would be the most sizable rejoicing one could feel, especially if that one is me,” Debbie Reynolds said in a statement.
“We’re saddened to hear that Debbie won’t be able to personally accept her well-deserved Oscar,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We look forward to honoring her lifetime achievements and commitment to philanthropy in a fitting tribute with her family and friends.”
Reynolds was recognized for her decades-long commitment to various charities, including the mental health organization she founded, the Thalians.
Honorary Oscars were also presented Saturday to Spike Lee and Gena Rowlands, both for career achievement.