New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced Damon at the bash, which celebrates those who have made “significant contributions” to the Big Apple’s entertainment industry.
As he accepted his prize, Damon, who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but now lives in New York, told the crowd how he and his childhood pal Ben Affleck used to travel to the city for auditions when they were younger: “Our dream was… to actually get a movie someday that shot in New York… I’m just so proud to live here.”
Damon has shot a handful of films in New York including 1998 movie Rounders and his recent thriller The Adjustment Bureau.
Colombian-born Leguizamo, who moved to New York City when he was four, took a night off from his Broadway show Ghetto Klown to pick up a prize in recognition of his theatre work.
The evening’s most emotional moment came as Sidney Lumet’s daughter Jenny accepted the late filmmaker’s Lifetime Achievement accolade on his behalf.
She said, “I haven’t spoken about Dad in public yet. I miss him.”
Lumet, who based many of his movies in New York, passed away in the city in April (11), aged 86.