[Yells; laughs.] Oh my heavens, I can't believe it. [Clutching the Oscar:] A man at last! [Laughs.] Well this is quite an event, I must say. This was something I never expected. I was in total shock when I got the call, and the shock has not quite worn off, I have to say.
I've been very lucky in my life, probably luckier than I deserve. But to, at the age of nineteen, have been chosen by Howard Hawks to work in a film with a man named Humphrey Bogart, didn't thrill me too much when I heard it. I thought, Bogart, God...dese dem and dose guys, can't, you know... I thought that was not for me. He had said, "Maybe Cary Grant." I said, "Well! Now you're talking." But it ended up being Bogart; that was my great luck. Because he was not only a wonderful actor, but he was an extraordinary man. And he gave me a life and he changed my life. And he told me about all the ins and outs and ups and downs, of which there were many. And not so many downs with him. And from then on, I must say, for as many years as, I cannot believe sixty years, but it has been that long. [Laughs.] It's amazing, isn't it? Considering how young I am. Anyway. Miracles will never cease.
The fact is that I've had the great good fortune of not only being shown the way by Bogie, and having two wonderful children who are right here, Steve and Leslie, right here with me, but in also being able to work with some of the best leading men in this business. And have forged the greatest friendships with Greg Peck, who I miss very much and love very dearly. And his wife got in the way, but what are you gonna do? [Laughs.] And anyway. Veronique, hello! [Laughs.]
Anyway, I really was lucky. I really did work with, with Kirk – and he said, "Never fear," he said to me backstage, "Never fear, Kirk is here." Confidence is a great thing, isn't it? But Kirk, and Duke Wayne, surprisingly had a marvelous relationship with him for two movies. And Greg. It's quite amazing the people that I've worked with. I've worked with Hank Fonda and met – unfortunately not really Jimmy Stewart, but some of the all-time all-time greats. And was directed by not only Howard Hawks, who was a marvelous director, a great movie director, but John Huston, of course, who was the great director and who showed me the way, and tripped me a few times en route. But he was a jokester, and because – and he loved to laugh, and he had an incredible laugh so one could hardly blame him.
But anyway, not to tell you the entire story of my life, I just must say that I have to thank the Academy and I'm very grateful that they think I'm deserving of this honor. And as I repeat, I certainly did not expect to receive it, but I do welcome it. And the thought when I get home that I'm gonna have a two-legged man in my room is so exciting I can hardly stand it. So I would like to thank all of you, and I thank them. And, what else can I say? It's what I feel, and I feel very emotional and I feel very grateful, and not least of all that I'm still alive. I mean after all, some of you are surprised, aren't you? Nevertheless I am, and I'm here to stay. You better get used to the idea. Thank you very much.