BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 15, 2012) (REUTERS) - Comic actor Ben Stiller has been at the top of his game for nearly three decades in film and television, and Thursday (November 15) night, a few of his best celebrity friends hit the town in Beverly Hills to prove it.
Actors Jennifer Aniston, Laura Dern, Martin Short, and Eugene Levy were among the handfuls of stars who came together to pay tribute to their friend and co-star as he was honored at a gala event for the 26th Annual American Cinematheque, a non-profit organization honoring extraordinary contributions to film.
"I know it is probably going to be painful for me to go through. I'm sure it will be more roast-like than tribute-like which is well deserved," says the guest of honor, speaking to Reuters ahead of the fete.
As a director, Stiller is known for audience favorites such as "Reality Bites," (1994) "Zoolander" (2001) and "Tropic Thunder" (2008). As an actor, he is best known for his comedic roles in films such as "Something About Mary" (1998), "Meet The Parents" (2000), and "Night at the Museum" (2006), and has played memorable supporting roles in Hollywood comedies such as "Mystery Men" (1999), "Dodgeball" (2004), and "Anchorman" (2004).
Stiller's comic roots began with his parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, of the husband-wife duo "Stiller and Meara," and his big break in showbiz came with stint on sketch show Saturday Night Live as a writer and part-time actor, followed by the highly acclaimed, Emmy-winning "Ben Stiller Show" that aired on MTV and Fox.
Actress Laura Dern shared her thoughts on working with Stiller: "I mean he is a filmmaker in every sense of the word, not just when he is directing," says Laura Dern, who costarred with Stiller in 2010's "Little Fockers." "When he is producing, when he is an actor on a film, he is thinking about the whole vision of the film, even if it is for another director. And I know that from working with him," she added.
"I think that Ben is constantly pushing his personal envelope trying to see what else he can accomplish that he has not accomplished before, and that's the sign of a great artist," says comic actor Martin Short, who worked with Stiller in the animated film "Madagascar 3"
Stiller was presented with a trophy by Short and actor Levy, honoring his contributions to the entertainment industry. The event was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.