Robert De Niro dedicated his Friars Club honor to late pal Robin Williams on Tuesday night (07Oct14), revealing it was difficult for him to enjoy a career-spanning gala without the funnyman.
De Niro received only the fifth Entertainment Icon Award the Friars Club has bestowed in its 110 year existence in New York and admitted he missed Williams, who committed suicide at his home in California in August (14).
Following performances from music legends Sting, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, and video tributes from Ricky Gervais, Meryl Streep, Billy Crystal, Keith Richards and Barbra Streisand, among others, De Niro took to the stage still moved by a clip of his film Awakenings, in which he starred with Williams.
The movie great said, "No one made me laugh like Robin. Of course, it was more than the jokes, he had so much humanity, just look at his face in that scene. He was a wonderful actor, sure, but those feelings were real. No one could fake that kind of love and compassion."
De Niro then dedicated the award to his "dear friend".