June 08, 2012 06:48:11 GMT
Warren Beatty, Morgan Freeman and Julia Roberts are among the speakers at the gala dinner honoring MacLaine with the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award.
Jennifer Aniston and John Travolta came to 2012 AFI Life Achievement Award honoring their senior Shirley MacLaine. The former showed off her leg and decolletage in a low-cut Burberry white long dress that featured slit to the thigh, while the latter suited up.
The gala dinner took place inside Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, California on Thursday evening, June 7. The 43-year-old blonde beauty, who shared screen with MacLaine in 2005 romcom "Rumor Has It", sat between fellow actress Melanie Griffith and past AFI recipient Meryl Streep.
As for Travolta, he skipped the red carpet appearance and didn't sit with audience. Instead, he appeared onstage as a surprise guest to applaud 78-year-old MacLaine. It marked his first ever public appearance since he was entangled in a sexual harassment case with male masseurs.
"Several years ago, Warren Beatty was talking about a young actress. And I said to him, 'What was she like?' And he said, 'She filled the room with presence like I've never seen before.' And I said, 'You know your sister, Shirley? She fills the room with presence'," he said. "She fills the world with presence like no one I've ever seen before. And that's my Shirley. And I love you."
The 58-year-old actor added, "Shirley MacLaine is first a dancer, and when you move from Broadway to film to television to writing to directing, you have to move to these things with the grace of a dancer. To train and push harder than you ever thought you could."
Other stars who took the podium to salute the veteran actress included her actor/director brother Warren Beatty, past AFI recipient Morgan Freeman and fellow actress Julia Roberts. The "Pretty Woman" leading lady shared screen with MacLaine in 1989's "Steel Magnolias" and 2010's "Valentine's Day".
Other attendees included MacLaine's "Terms of Endearment" co-star Jack Nicholson, another "Steel Magnolias" cast Sally Fields and "Downton Abbey" actress Elizabeth McGovern. The likes of Katherine Heigl, Dakota Fanning and Mena Suvari were spotted among the guests as well.