May 11, 1998 12:00 AM

Broadway’s stage community and even ex-wife Lauren Bacall packed the Broadhurst Theater in Times Square on Monday to pay tribute to acting great Jason Robards Jr., who died on Dec. 26 at age 78 after a lengthy battle with cancer. “He was the last of a breed of actors who dedicated themselves to a life in the theater,” said Kevin Spacey. “He was a master to watch.” In 1999, Spacey reprised Robards’s signature role of Hickey in Eugene’s O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh.” Other speakers Monday included Jonathan Demme, who directed Robards in his Oscar-winning supporting actor role in “Melvin and Howard” (Robards also won the statuette for “All the President’s Men”), actors Matthew Broderick, Judith Ivey and Anne Jackson, and O’Neill biographer Barbara Gelb. Among those in the audience, besides Bacall: Sarah Jessica Parker, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Mary Steenburgen and Blair Brown.

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