Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 12:43 UK

Cohen invited to join Oscar panel

Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen began appearing as Ali G on The 11 O'Clock Show

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for play comic characters Ali G and Borat, has been invited to join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ray Winstone and Jet Li are also among the artists on the list, along with Marion Cotillard, who won best actress this year for La Vie En Rose.

Academy president Sid Ganis said the artists are "incredibly talented" and a "credit to the world of filmmaking".

All 104 new members will be welcomed at an event in Beverly Hills in September.

Nominees and winners

Other actors who have received a prestigious invite, include No Country for Old Men's Josh Brolin, Ruby Dee who stars in Just Cause and Juno's Alison Janney.

"They exemplify the high standards of the academy and I welcome each and every one of them to our ranks," said Ganis.

Cohen began his TV career on Channel 4 posing as gangster wannabe Ali G.

He wrote and starred in the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which was released in 2006. The film, which Cohen co-wrote, was Oscar-nominated for best adapted screenplay.

Winstone provided the voice of Beowulf, in the self-titled animated movie and Li, who recently starred in War and Unleashed, is best known for his martial arts expertise.

Members of the organisation vote to select the nominees and winners of the Oscars.

In 2004 it was decided a smaller group of people would be invited to join the academy "slow the growth" of the organisation, which remains at just under 6000 members.

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