He already has one Emmy and several Grammy awards, but until Saturday night, Steve Martin never had an Oscar to call his own. At the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Fifth annual Governors Awards, the actor appeared truly thankful for the honorary award he received, and he let it show during an emotional speech in which he paid tribute to the industry and his wife.
"My wife, Anne Stringfield, who is as beautiful as she is smart, and …" Martin's eyes welled up with tears and he found himself momentarily unable to continue. "I knew I wasn't going to make it through this speech. I read it to my dog this morning and wept."
With that added zinger to break the heavy moment, he continued.
"My wife alone would have been enough reward for my life, but now she's brought me a wonderful child," he added, before again softening the sentiment with a laugh. "For some mysterious reason, she really loves that child. I don't know. I don't get it."
Martin got misty again as he talked about what his career has given him.
"(It's) an amazing gift that has accumulated through these decades of filmmaking that cannot be matched, something wonderful and magical and its impact on my life is profound: friends — fascinating, funny and lifelong," he said looking out to the crowd. "Many of them are here in this room tonight. So thank you, movies, and thank you, Academy, for this award and a glorious reminder of the true benefit I have received."
But the speech had its lighthearted moments too. Just as Martin accepted what pal and frequent co-star Martin Short called "the highest honor an actor can receive in mid-November," Tom Hanks stepped up to capture the moment — with a selfie.
"So now the class level has dropped completely," Martin joked. Of course, in the end, he had no complaints.
First published November 18 2013, 8:18 AM