Eddie Murphy to Host Oscars

09/06/2011 at 04:15 PM EDT

Oscars Host Is Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy
DPA/Landov
Eddie Murphy is set to step back into the spotlight in a big way: He's agreed to take on hosting duties at the Oscars next February.

The selection of Murphy, 50, is a departure from last year's Academy Awards hosts – the unlikely duo of James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

"Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever," telecast producer Brett Ratner says. "I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show."


Sara Hammel

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