Robert Altman will receive an honorary Oscar at the 78th AcademyAwards on Mar 5.

Altman, currently in post production on his ensemble GarrisonKeillor adaptation A Prairie Home Companion, has never won an Academy Award.

However the 80 year-old has earned five best director nominations for M*A*S*H,Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts and Gosford Park, as well as two more nominations as producer for Nashville and Gosford Park.

"The boardwas taken with Altman's innovation, his redefinition of genres, his inventionof new ways of using the film medium and his reinvigoration of old ones,"Academy president Sid Ganis said. "He is a master filmmaker and welldeserves this honour."