Last night at the Waldorf-Astoria, the Friars Club saluted Tom Cruise with its Icon Award, so I was there like a top gun, all cocked and sitting at full attention.
Tom’s Rock of Ages costar Alec Baldwin MC’d a lineup of speakers like Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Pollack, but Jerry Lewis, who was supposed to present the award to Tom, got sick and didn’t show.
That didn’t stop Elie Wiesel–I’m serious–from stepping up to the podium and gushing about Jerry’s genius, though he stopped short at mentioning the comic’s unseen holocaust classic, The Day The Clown Cried.
And then it was back to Tom Terrific.
After various stars sang and/or sang praises, Broadway’s Rock of Ages cast did a killer performance, and then out came our star, all smiles and earnest gratitude.
He said he was humbled to get the award “in the footsteps of Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant, and Frank Sinatra.”
He gushed about Jerry Lewis. (“You showed the world what is possible because you cared so much.”)
And he carried on about another absentee, Katie Holmes, saying, “My wife made this suit for me. She’s an amazing woman. She couldn’t be here. She’s in China, working….Suri’s my date this evening.”
And she looked darling, let me tell you.
Anyway, there was not one mention of Scientology all night, especially since attendee Philip Seymour Hoffman is not playing L. Ron Hubbard in that upcoming movie.
Just lots of “craft” talk and upbeat stories and even birthday cake celebrating 50 years of a glinty American icon who onscreen and off seems intent on trying to save the world.