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Kevin Spacey Museum of The Moving Image - Monday, 4/14/2014 4:13 PM

“You’ve been making us laugh, making us cry, and, at times, terrifying the sh--… ever living daylights out of us,” opened Carl Goodman, Museum of The Moving Image Executive Director, on the career of their 28th annual salutee, Kevin Spacey; setting the tone for a colorful evening uptown for Museum of The Moving Image Salutes Kevin Spacey.

A multitude of Mr. Spacey’s friends, peers and past co-stars came out to the decadent 583 Park Ave, praising him in as wide a range as his acting talents.

To Samuel L Jackson, “[Spacey’s] career stands alongside Bogart, Cagney and a young Brando.” To Chazz Palmintari, “it’s impossible to turn away when he’s on screen.” To Beau Willimon, House of Cards creator, he’s, “a moving force of nature…”. And to President Bill Clinton (whom wrote a letter read by Co-Chair Ivan Lustig), he’s “cherished for his friendship, kindness and generosity.” But with all the kind words, some closest to him just couldn’t allow this get to his head.

“When people talk about great actors,” began the always acerbic Denis Leary, “they talk about Daniel Day Lewis.” Everyone, along with Spacey, roared with laughter. Leary continued to speak, as endearingly as Leary can, of Kevin as the best person to work for, not only for his talent on screen, but for his antics off screen.

Leary brought up a still from their time shooting The Ref of Judy Davis, director Ted Demme and himself speaking in serious, yet with a couple feet away, Spacey’s unequivocally in the middle of his famous Scarface impression, face curled into the Pacino scowl et al, keeping the crew, as Leary said, in stitches.

But the best line came from Kim Cattrall, as told by Spacey once he took the stage. “I’m sitting on your face,” Spacey deadpans as Cattrall. He then turns up reenacting his bewildered approval, “…Ok,” before continuing as Cattrall, “I put the program on my seat – I’m sitting on your face.”

Once Co-Chair Ivan Lustig presented Spacey with his crystal award, Spacey then returned the praise to his presenters, friends and co-stars, including Michael Bloomberg, Kate Bosworth, Dana Brunetti, Penn Badgley, Tony Bennett, Herbert S. Schlosser and Kristen Chenoweth.

With an acclaimed career that has brought him cherished friends, experiences and acclamations, Spacey couldn’t help but get choked up, above all else, when speaking of his idol and mentor, the late Jack Lemmon.

He closed, cloaked in his trademark Lemmon, with Lemmon’s philosophy, “If you’ve done well in the business you want to do well in, then it is your obligation,” he paused to contain his emotions, “to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down,” adding, “If we all just keep a little bit of the Lemmon in all of our hearts, we’ll be ok.”