LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Sherry Lansing, the first female head of a major movie studio, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Sunday during the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
"She is the personification of what this significant award represents," said Tom Cruise during his introduction.
Beginning as a script reader and story editor, Lansing eventually became the first female president of 20th Century Fox.
Later, as an independent producer, she brought to the screen "The Accused" and "Fatal Attraction."
In 1992, Lansing became chief executive officer of Paramount Pictures, a position she held for 12 years.
Now retired from the movie business, Lansing devotes her time to a number of causes involving cancer -- including Stop Cancer, which she founded -- and education.
By working in the film industry, Lansing said, she was working "in a culture that encourages us to speak out."
She said the doctors, scientists and educators "are the real heroes. I share this award with all of them."