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Robert De Niro, Carlos Slim honored at star-studded Friars Club gala

Robert De Niro and Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim attracted a who's-who list of celebrities Tuesday night at New York's Waldorf Astoria, where the two men were honored by the Friars Foundation.

The charitable arm of the Friars Club paid tribute to De Niro, a two-time Oscar winner, for his long-lasting impact on pop culture, while Slim was honored for his philanthropic achievements.

Some of the stars spotted at the event included De Niro's "Casino" co-star Sharon Stone and his "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" director David O. Russell.

"Robert De Niro is a treasure," Russell said. "It's like listening to great music. I can repeat any of his performances at any time. And it will put me in a better mood. And that's what classic performances do."

De Niro, who was accompanied to the event by wife Grace Hightower and daughter Drena De Niro, was given the Friars Club's exclusive Entertainment Icon Award. The 71-year-old two-time Oscar winner is only the fifth person to ever receive the award since the Friars Club's founding in 1904. Previous recipients include Tom Cruise, Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.

In addition to Stone and Russell, other notable names who came out for the ceremony included New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Orlando Bloom and veteran broadcaster Larry King, who served as the night's master of ceremonies.

"Robert De Niro is a great guy and Carlos Slim is a great friend," King said. "One in the world of the arts and one in the world of business and philanthropy, you couldn't do better than these two."

An influential figure in the telecommunications field and one of the richest people in the world, Slim was presented with the Friars Foundation Icon Award for Philanthropy, thanks to his contributions in the field of education.

Watch the video above to hear what Slim had to say about winning the prestigious award, and to see other stars (including Sting and Tony Bennett) talk about the Friars Club awards.

More information about the Friars Foundation charity can be found here.

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