|Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie|
Laurie, who dated Thompson when the pair were at Cambridge University, said his friend's talent had been obvious even during their student days. "She was the most obnoxiously talented person -- and still is -- that I've ever come across," Laurie said. "Everything she did just oozed talent. She said talented things, she wore talented clothes, she rode a talented bicycle, she made talented spaghetti. She is a truly remarkable person, a very good friend, and I could not be prouder."
Gyllenhaal meanwhile gave a heartfelt tribute to Thompson's generosity. "I've never seen Emma when she hasn't given me a present and a present for my daughter," Gyllenhaal said. "She knows the name of every single person on the crew and their children and their wives' names."
Thompson, the only person to win Academy Awards for acting and writing following her Oscars for "Howards End" and "Sense and Sensibility," dedicated her star to her late father, the actor, writer and director Eric Thompson.
"He was a wonderful man and a great inspiration to me," Thompson said. "He inspired me to write for children without writing for children."
Thompson said she recalled her father taking her to visit the Walk of Fame during the 1970s while he was in Los Angeles to direct a stage production. "We looked at all the stars and I remember being really fascinated by this, thinking, 'What a lovely thing to do, put people's names in the pavement where everyone walks about all the time,'" Thompson said. "I was thrilled by that."