AFI presented a truly memorable tribute to Jane Fonda during its annual Life Achievement Award ceremony April 5th.
The Audi-presented gala saw the biggest names in show business such as Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas and Sally Field turn up to honor and support Fonda.
The tribute show opened with a surprise appearance by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Mel Brooks (2013), who offered the renowned actor, activist, philanthropist, author and sex symbol advice on how to deal with the evening ahead.
After the a three-course dinner, the speeches and anecdotes were underway from Fonda’s celebrity friends.
Streep reminisced fondly about working with Fonda on Julia, her first-ever film, and how the icon made her feel special during her showbiz debut, while Field touchingly revealed how Fonda pursued her friendship and refused to give up on her when she would have shied away.
The most touching speech came from Fonda’s son, Troy Garity, whom fiercely and sweetly stated the many reasons why his mother has been such an inspiration and is so loved.
Other standout moments came from Wanda Sykes, who dressed up as her most famous character, Barbarella, and her “The Newsroom” co-star Jeff Daniels, who performed a comedic song he composed called “Abs, Buns and Thighs.”
U.S. military veteran Ron Kovic, Fonda’s inspiration for making the 1978 film Coming Home, remarked on their shared activism. A video tribute titled “A Hymn to Her,” written by playwright Eve Ensler, showcased segments from Annette Bening, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Redford and past AFI Life Achievement Award honorees Robert De Niro (2003) and Morgan Freeman (2011).
Fonda then selected her The China Syndrome co-star Michael Douglas to present her with her award. After a few brief comments and thank yous, the assembled crowd at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre headed over to the Ohm nightclub for the event’s afterparty.
Additional attendees at the event included Rosanna Arquette, Diego Boneta, Luke Bracey, , Clive Davis, Rosario Dawson, Eve Ensler, Melanie Griffith, Kathryn Hahn, Chelsea Handler, Marcia Gay Harden, Felicity Huffman, Kevin Huvane, Catherine Keener, Diane Lane, Eva Longoria, William H. Macy, Samantha Mathis, Mary McCormack, Dylan McDermott, Chris Messina, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, Cleo Pires, David O. Russell, Carol Bayer Sager, Corey Stoll, Meryl Streep, Wanda Sykes, Linda Bloodworth Thomason, Lily Tomlin, Michael Vartan, Sam Waterston and Catherine Zeta Jones.
The event will be broadcast on TNT on Saturday, June 14, at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.