Morgan Freeman Honored at Star-Studded Tribute
Clint Eastwood, Matthew McConaughey, Casey Affleck, Helen Mirren, Sidney Poitier, Matthew Broderick, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tim Robbins, Betty White and Samuel L. Jackson were among the stars who gathered Thursday in Hollywood for dazzling a tribute to Morgan Freeman.
As guest of honor at the black-tie dinner, catered by Wolfgang Puck, the 74-year-old actor was given a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. And according to the Hollywood Reporter, his famous friends were thrilled to be invited to the party.
“He is the most effortless person to be around and to act,” Eastwood told the audience, as he introduced Freeman and presented the award.
“It was an honor being locked up with you, Morgan,” said Tim Robbins, who starred opposite Freeman in the beloved 1994 jailbreak drama “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Betty White took the stage for a song-and-dance number (“Hello, Morgan,” sung to the tune of “Hello, Dolly”) that reportedly brought down the house. And Garth Brooks led a gospel chorus in a moving performance of “Lean on Me,” the title of Freeman”s uplifting 1989 drama.
Freeman”s “RED” costar, Helen Mirren took to mic to say, “In movie after movie, this AARP member has proven without a shadow of a doubt that he can kick some serious ass.”
The show included taped messages of love from Renee Zellweger, Chris Rock and Steven Spielberg, among others.
Taking the stage, Freeman beamed and told his A-List admirers, “This is easy to take but hard to believe. Where I come from in Mississippi, they call this walking in high cotton….For me, heaven has always been about acting in the movies. I”m proud to be an actor, although for this one night, you”ve made me feel like a star.”
The AFI Tribute to Morgan Freeman will be televised June 19 (8 p.m., ET) on TV Land.
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