“Can we just get married? We’ve never had a celebration like this before,” Hawn said with a laugh.
“Thank you to my beautiful daughter and my other beautiful daughter,” she continued. “This means more to me as I start reflecting on things. I was a dancer and I carried my dancing shoes up here looking for an agent. I couldn’t find an agent, I found a fabulous dentist but I couldn’t find an agent,” she joked.
“That star is part of ‘yes.’ I really went through something then because I didn’t know what it meant to be a star when people didn’t know who I was. I didn’t get my white picket fence but I got a beautiful house,” she said. “I said yes to Kurt Russell. I said yes to Bill Hudson, and without Bill I wouldn’t have had Katie and Oliver. I wish my mom and my dad could see me,” Hawn added.
“I owe a special debt of appreciation to my family,” Russell said, thanking his mom and sisters in the audience. “Thanks to my kids Boston, Oliver, Kate and Wyatt. Any father would be blessed to be gifted with the lifetime you have brought me.
“Goldie to you, I owe my wonderful life,” he added. “Simply put Goldie, I cherish you. All of the stars in the sky or the boulevard don’t hold a candle to that. There’s no one else I’d rather be next to than Goldie Hawn.”
When Hudson took the stage, she also made light of the wedding-like atmosphere. “I was slotted in to talk about my mother, but I have two parents and they’re both here. I always thought I’d be talking about them at a wedding or something,” she said. “But since a wedding doesn’t seem to be in our near future, this seems to be my only opportunity.”
She continued, “Their philosophy is family first. As their child, what really stands out is [that] somehow in their phenomenal careers, they’ve maintained normalcy with all of their children. They never hid away their love for making movies. For me and my brother [Oliver], we grew up with artists. These shining stars standing next to me, their real legacy is what they’ve instilled in us kids.”
Witherspoon revealed in her speech a longtime love and appreciation for Hawn. “The first time I ever fell in love with a movie star was Goldie Hawn,” she said. “She’s continued to inspire me in my entire career. She is a true movie star.”
The actress went on to reveal that she “accepted the role of Elle Woods [in Legally Blonde] all because of Goldie,” adding that, “Every career choice I think, ‘Would Goldie approve of this?’ ”
Beginning to get emotional and teary eyed, Witherspoon continued, “She shattered all sorts of barriers for women. She changed the possibilities of what women can do in film. Thank you for making us laugh, she has lit up my life. She’s changed my life and she’s quite simply my idol. I love you Goldie.”
WATCH: Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn On What Makes Their Love Last: ‘He Brings Me My Coffee In The Morning’
Russell and Hawn’s stars are close to those of another celebrity couple: Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy. They’re also near film producers Richard Donner and Lauren Shuler Donner, and Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, who worked together on Kinky Boots.
Hawn, 71, and Russell, 66, have been together since 1983, but they’ve only costarred together once, in 1987’s Overboard, directed by the late Garry Marshall.
The duo also both have new movies out. Russell stars alongside Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which hits theaters Friday; while Hawn and Amy Schumer’s Snatched opens nationwide May 12.