A few words for Dustin

Film Society of Lincoln Center fetes Oscar winner

NEW YORK — Upon hearing the news the Film Society of Lincoln Center wanted to fete him at its annual gala, Dustin Hoffman‘s wife, Lisa, had to calm him down: “You’re not going to die. They just want to honor you,” she said.

Honors were duly administered at Avery Fisher Hall; a supper/dance followed at the New York State Theater.

The famously laconic Robert De Niro even uttered a few sentences in praise of his “Meet the Fockers” co-star, deadpanning, “I remember as a very young kid growing up in New York how excited I’d get when my parents took me to see Dustin’s movies.”

Hoffman joked: “We made history tonight: Robert De Niro speaks. You can’t be more honored than to get that guy to say more than two sentences.”

Other speakers included Mike Nichols, “Kramer vs. Kramer” co-star Justin Henry, and the charmingly self-deprecating Kevin Bacon, who said, “I did play a scene with a guy who played a scene with Dustin Hoffman.”