Oprah Winfrey has won an honorary Oscar for her humanitarian work.

The 57-year-old was presented with the Academy Award at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles.

Upon receiving the gong she said: "I never imagined receiving an Oscar, especially for doing what is part of my calling, part of my being."

Wiping back the tears, she added: "If you are not a former coloured girl born in Mississippi in 1954, it is impossible for you to know what this journey has meant."

Field of Dreams actor James Earl Jones and 89-year-old Godfather make-up artist Dick Smith were also recognised with an Oscar for their careers in show business.