Published June 13 2012
Tom Cruise receives Friars Icon award
The actor received the fourth ever Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award on Tuesday night, placing him in the same company as Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.
Fresh off a whirlwind week of premieres for “Rock of Ages,” the actor, who turns 50 next month, said he's amazed his career is still going so strong.
“I was hoping. After my first film I remember thinking I just wanted the opportunity to do it again. And I didn't know whether I was going to have it again and so to be doing this now; it's kind of amazing to me,” he said on the red carpet.
Cruise had been slated to receive the award from Jerry Lewis, but the comedian had a health scare just before the ceremony. Lewis’ publicist said Wednesday that he was OK after being hospitalized overnight for low blood sugar.
Alec Baldwin presided at the Waldorf-Astoria, where speakers included such former co-stars as Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Pollak. Robin Thicke and Corinne Rae Bailey were among the musical performers.
Many had stories about working with Cruise. Baldwin joked that any time he finds himself taking on too many tasks at once, he hums the theme from “Mission: Impossible.” Pollak, who appeared with Cruise in “A Few Good Men,” remembered being in awe of the “unusually large and perfect pen” Cruise used for marking his script. The actor soon had a pen sent to Pollak's trailer, then sent him a second one when Pollak worried about losing the first.
The capper: Pollak still carries one of the pens with him and showed it off to the crowd.
Cruise said during his acceptance speech that his wife, actress Katie Holmes, was out of the country. But he did bring their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, who not only got to stay up late, but to take in an R-rated tribute in keeping with the Friars tradition of blue humor. Gooding cracked a couple of shower jokes, Pollak made some suggestive comments about the size of Cruise's pen and when he made a reference to “banging,” he didn't mean on a drum. A few f-bombs were dropped, notably a barrage on film by Cruise during a highlight reel of his career, a reel that featured Cruise kissing Cameron Diaz, Renee Zellweger and other leading ladies.
Numerous plugs were worked in for “Rock of Ages,” coming out Friday. Baldwin co-stars with Cruise, and the ceremony included a performance by the cast of the Broadway musical on which the film is based.
From Manhattan, Cruise heads with his family to Iceland, where he'll celebrate Father's Day while filming “Oblivion.”
“Well usually we just hang out, you know maybe we go for a family hike or something,” said Cruise, who said his kids usually make him something by hand. “The kids go all out on stuff like that and that means the most to me.”