The 2017 Tony Awards served as an avenue for Mark Hamill to remember some of his most beloved friends and idols during in a heartfelt tribute during the annual gathering of talents in theater and Hollywood.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the 65-year-old Star Wars alum gave a subtle but heartfelt shout out to his co-star and friend, Carrie Fisher, who passed away at the age of 60 years old on December 27, 2016, during the 71st Annual Tony Awards.
Sunday’s event which was held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City incorporated the In Memoriam segment where Hamill paid tribute to the fallen members of the entertainment industry.
“This past year, we lost many beloved members of our theatrical family,” Hamill began before subtly sharing his love for his fallen friend Carrie Fisher who gave life to the iconic Star Wars character, Princess Leia, at the 2017 Tony Awards segment.
“Legends of the stage, artists from behind the scenes, princes of show business, and a princess.”
Upon speaking about “a princess,” Mark Hamill put his hand to his chest, a clear gesture of his heartfelt love for the princess of Star Wars.
As Hamill spoke, images of the deceased actors and actresses on screen and on stage including Garry Marshall, Mary Tyler Moore, Gene Wilder, and many others appeared on the 2017 Tony Awards monitor.
“They inspired a generation of theater lovers projecting strength, resilience, and integrity,” he added.
“We’ll cherish their passion and their expertise that made Broadway what it is today and their indomitable spirit that continues to influence what it strives to become tomorrow.”
Speaking to People prior to his speech, Mark shared his thoughts about Carrie whom he had been friends with for 40 years.
“Underneath all the bravado and the acerbic remarks and the cutting-edge humor, she was a really vulnerable woman,” he told the outlet while waiting for his turn to take the stage at the 2017 Tony Awards.
“I think she covered up that because vulnerability to her signaled weakness and so she overcompensated for that. In quiet moments she could be a much different person than when she was on — but we loved her on, too.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair in May, Hamill admitted that even after almost half a year since she passed away, he still cannot grasp the idea that his onscreen twin sister and long-time pal is already gone.
“I can’t say that phrase… Carrie’s name and then the d-word.”
“Because I think of her in the present tense. Maybe it’s a form of denial, but she’s so vibrant in my mind, and so vital a part of the family, that I can’t imagine it without her… It’s just so untimely, and I’m so angry,” he added.
Aside from Fisher, Mark Hamill also talked about Adam West during the event whom he remembered best through his “iconic” Batman. Speaking to USA Today at the 2017 Tony Awards red carpet, Hamill recalled the extent of West’s influence on his generation.
“He was, for all of us growing up, such an iconic figure. He had such a rapport with the audience, I never thought he got the credit for the nuance and humor he brought to that part,” he said.
“Because when I first watched it, I was looking at him seriously and you revisit it and you’re like, ‘oh my god,’ it’s amazing how he was working on these different levels.”
At the time, Hamill also recalled how much he “adored” the actor and voice talent, telling the outlet: “He was just such a nice guy. He didn’t become bitter or, ‘Oh, I’m typecast’ or anything like that.”
Hamill lent his voice to The Joker, one of Batman’s arch-nemesis, in the cartoon series. However, Adam had already been replaced by the time Mark became a voice talent for the Cape Crusader’s foe. Despite that, Mark Hamill is still a huge fan of Adam West, so much so that he “froze” when he found out that the actor would be watching his recording for the show.
“I said I can’t do my Joker in front of my Batman, I mean my childhood Batman. But again he was so nice, and I managed to get through it.”
What do you think of Mark Hamill’s In Memoriam tributes at the 2017 Tony Awards? Sound off in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Jemal Countess/Getty Images]