Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Celebs honour Mel Brooks in LA

Mel Brooks was honoured by a host of Hollywood A-listers
Billy Crystal paid tribute to his friend Mel Brooks
Comedian Martin Short takes part in a musical tribute at the AFI gala

Mel Brooks has been presented with an award for his illustrious career at a star-studded ceremony in the US.

The legendary director and actor - the man behind Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and The Producers - received the American Film Institute's 41st Life Achievement Award.

A galaxy of stars turned out to honour him, including Oscar winners Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman.

Billy Crystal, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Cloris Leachman and Martin Short also paid tribute to the 86-year-old filmmaker at a private dinner at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Billy said Mel was " an iconic image in comedy".

He added: "It's a great thrill to be around him. I've known him as a friend, we started as PTA parents together when our kids were at elementary school. And when you get you meet one of your giants like that, it's truly an incredible thing and we've been great friends and I'm always a fan."

Actress Lesley Ann Warren said she had loved working with Mel.

"I'm so thrilled to be here, to be able to give back to him," she said.

Past recipients of the AFI honour include Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese, who presented Mel with his award.

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