While generally a convivial event, the American Museum of the Moving Image salute to John Travolta on Sunday night was extra buoyant thanks to the Bee Gees soundtrack that accompanied thesp’s clips.
Starry event at the Waldorf-Astoria featured wife Kelly Preston, friends including “Grease” co-stars Didi Conn and Jeff Conaway.Media bigwigs in attendance included Jeff Bewkes, Tom Freston and Oprah Winfrey, who presented Travolta with his honors kvelling, “We’ve adored you from the moment you first danced into our hearts.”
For his part, Travolta shared advice he learned from other stars ranging from Cary Grant to Julia Roberts. Impersonating James Cagney, Travolta recalled his counsel, “Stay away from Jack Warner.” When Travolta reminded Cagney that Warner was dead, Cagney had insisted, “That doesn’t mean he hasn’t changed.”
Thesp graciously acknowledged his presenters individually, as well as those who helped him along the way. (Careful listeners would also hear “LRH” — L. Ron Hubbard — included in this roster.)
To the audience, Travolta channeled Cagney once again, delivering his thanks “Yankee Doodle Dandy style”: “Ladies and gentlemen: My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you.”
Evening raised $750,000 for the museum.