Steven Spielberg continued to pile up honors last week with a salute from the American Museum of the Moving Image.
The annual salute, held Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria, is usually one of the largest annual East Coast gatherings of VIPs from the film and television industries.
Spicing film clip introductions with personal anecdotes were such Spielberg thesps as Richard Dreyfuss, Goldie Hawn, Ben Kingsley, Liam Neeson, Dennis Weaver, Robin Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Director Robert Zemeckis and MCA/Universal chairman Sidney Sheinberg also spoke.
The 950-member audience was equally star-studded, with toppers from N.Y.’s entertainment, media and publishing circles.
Tributes ranged from the comically understated (Neeson: “He has kept us from swimming in the ocean for a number of years”) to the carried-away (Kingsley suggesting the director win a Nobel Peace Prize for “Schindler’s”).
In a brief speech, Spielberg spoke of various film images that influenced him and how filming “Schindler’s” made him re-think his portrayal of Nazis in the “Indiana Jones” pix. Using the Nazis as “costume villains” might have evaded a harsher truth, he said. “Manipulation is a powerful tool that simply should not be casually used.”
A spokesman said the ninth annual fund-raiser brought in more than $ 800,000, although it was not known how much would be left after expenses.