The luminous 76-year-old Jane Fonda, glowing in a Vera Wang gown, was feted with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award last night at the famed Dolby Theater in Hollywood (Home of the Oscars). The tribute quickly turned into a raunchy roast with stars from Cameron Diaz to Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep to Michael Douglas teasing her. Perhaps most shocking of all was lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes.
Mel Brooks started the night by quipping, “Jane, I’m sorry you have to go through this. Don’t be surprised if some of your best friends disappoint you bitterly. This room is filled with jealousy. Seriously, your honor is well deserved. Now lets get this charade started.”
Streep continued the festivities night by mimicking Jane’s voice on her work out video then said, “I met Jane when I did my first film, Julia (which starred Jane and Vanessa Redgrave.) She was impossibly beautiful, glamorous and chic, with almost feral bright blue eyes. She was impossibly intimidating. I felt like a lumpy girl from New Jersey, which I am.”
Diaz then spoke and said, “You are a beautiful example of grace in Hollywood.” Eva Longoria then said, “Jane and I met on a L’Oreal commercial shoot as we both twirling our hair and saying ‘We are worth it.’”
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Then fearless Sykes came on. Dressed in a Barbarella costume, Jane’s camp classic through the ages, Sykes retorted, “Jane what were you thinking? You now how hard it was to get this outfit? Not hard at all, there is a store right here on Hollywood Boulevard that has it in sizes 2-46!” Then Sykes scanned the audience and pointed out some of the VIP’s including Douglas, who was with his wife Catherine Zeta Jones. “Michael, how is that throat cancer thing going? All the smoking and whiskey, that didn’t cause it. We all know he got it from cunnilingus. It was eating pussy that gave him cancer.” With muted applause at that joke, Lesbian Wanda saved herself and said, “I don’t know about that, cause I feel fine.”
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Sally Field had to follow that and gave a heartfelt talk about their 35-year friendship. One of the most moving moments was when Born On The Fourth Of July’s paralyzed Vietnam Vet Ron Kovics paid tribute to his activist friend.
Lily Tomlin then called Jane “A Vagina warrior,” and added, “After all these years, she’s more sexually adventurous then most people here.
“Jane’s talented actor son Troy Garity was a huge hit saying, “Hey, if you think it’s tough being the daughter of Henry Fonda, how do you think it is being the son of Hanoi Jane? I was potty trained in rice patty. My first thirteen birthdays were fundraisers. My mother never had to hire a nanny to watch after me, that was the FBI’s job.” He ended with a beautiful tribute to his mother, which had her in tears.
Sandra Bullock then said, “I’m going to make this short because Jane has to probably go to the bathroom. We are all supposed to admire her, but if we are all honest with ourselves, we all find her annoying. Everything she does is better than anyone else.”
Various video tributes ensued, Peter Fonda gave a heartfelt salute to his sister then Michael Douglas handed her the award. Jane, first embracing her partner the esteemed music producer Richard Perry, then classily ended the night by saying “It’s more important to stay interested than interesting. Please ask questions, especially to those who have been around awhile. Never stop.”
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Other luminaries that were there were Clive Davis, Vagina Monologues author and activist Eve Ensler, a close friend of Jane’s, and her step son actor Dylan McDermott, David O’Russell, Willam H Macy and Felicity Huffman, Diane Lane, Morgan Freeman, Alex Trebeck, TNT’s Michael Wright, David Hudson, Brett Weitz and Lillah McCarthy, Bafta’s Chairman Nigel Daly, Chris O’Connor the British Counsel General of Los Angeles, Warners Brothers Sue Kroll, The Newsroom crew of Jeff Daniels, (who sang his own song for Jane,) Emily Mortimer, Marcia Gay Harden and Alison Pill, Rosanna Arquette, Rosario Dawson and many more. Watch it on TNT on Saturday, June 14, 9:00 pm and 10:30pm ET/PT. There is also an an encore showing on TCM slated for Friday, August 1, as part of an all-night tribute to Fonda.
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