The comedian "couldn't stop crying" after a hospital visit with a theater charity group

By Jeffrey Slonim
Updated October 28, 2008 11:10 AM
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Mike Myers usually makes people laugh until they cry, but the comedian told PEOPLE a recent hospital performance for sick kids left him teary-eyed.

Last Thursday, the Austin Powers actor visited Rusk Institute in The Bronx with Only Make Believe, a theater charity group that puts on plays for young children in hospitals and care facilities.

“I watched kids of differing physical abilities and different backgrounds from around the world lose themselves in imagination and make believe. And I was moved to tears,” says Myers. “All I can tell you is that I cried like a baby. I couldn’t stop crying.”

Myers spoke to PEOPLE Monday night at The Box during a benefit for Only Make Believe. “I rarely host things, because I’m very, very shy,” says Myers, who was introduced to the charity after a chance encounter with Only Make Believe founder Dena Hammerstein. “I’m an intermittent extrovert. But I’m very moved by the organization.”

At the Rusk Institute, Myers watched the company put on an interactive play called Hocus Pocus in a therapy room for 25 children. “There was a trunk of costumes, hats and three dedicated actors,” he says. “The level of life-affirming sweetness, I could not believe it. As [someone of British descent], I feel like I have no natural defense, no natural coping mechanism, for the sheer happiness when you see these kids light up.”

Myers pitched in himself, doing his Shrek and Austin Powers voices, and handing out copies of Shrek to the ecstatic kids. “It was like they were being given gold!” he says.