June 8th, 2012
11:14 AM ET
John Travolta has kind of been out of the spotlight lately (although his name's been in plenty of headlines), but he wasn't going to miss taking part in a tribute to Shirley MacLaine.
The 78-year-old actress was given a Life Achievement Award by the American Film Institute in Los Angeles Thursday, and Travolta was tapped to help present the honor.
According to E!, the 58-year-old kept it all business at the event. He didn’t sit in the audience with fellow presenters Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts, instead just popping up on stage when it was time for him to deliver his speech.
"Several years ago, Warren Beatty was talking about a young actress," Travolta said. "And I said to him, 'What was she like?' And he said, 'She filled the room with presence like I've never seen before.'"
MacLaine, Travolta continued, "fills the world with presence like no one I've ever seen before."
The actor wasn’t the only A-Lister there to show appreciation. Longtime colleagues and collaborators Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman and Steven Spielberg were all in attendance for the ceremony, along with Sally Field, Meryl Streep and Melanie Griffith - some of whom MacLaine referred to directly.
"I want to thank and pay tribute to the women at my table," the “Terms of Endearment” actress said during her acceptance speech. "Because they've been my compadres, my other half of the sky, my sustained belief that women who speak their truth will make the world a better place."
But she didn't leave the men out, either, adding that she wanted to thank "all the fabulous co-stars, male, that I have worked with. Those I've made love to on the screen, and those I've made love to off the screen. I swear I remember maybe half."
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