Reese Witherspoon Gets Emotional: Tears Up Talking About Her Husband and Three Kids

Oscar winner was honored by the American Cinematheque at star-studded gala in L.A.

By Marc Malkin Oct 31, 2015 5:21 PMTags

#ReeseWitherspoon speaks so beautifully about her husband and kids...

Posted by Marc Malkin on Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reese Witherspoon's Hollywood career was celebrated last night by a star-studded lineup of presenters when she was honored with this year's American Cinematheque Award.

But the truly emotional moment of the night occurred when the Oscar winner talked about her husband Jim Toth and three kids Ava, Deacon and Tennessee.

Witherspoon called Toth "my biggest fan and my greatest champion and without whom I would never have scaled a mountain or started a new company or parented three amazing kids."

It was then that Witherspoon eyes began to fill up with tears.

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"Speaking of my amazing children—Ava and Deacon are here. Hopefully Tennessee is asleep. He never sleeps—I just want to thank you for all the times you had to say goodbye to your mom while she packed to go on a location or for missing your school trips or special days because you were on some location in some far flung area in Georgia or Louisiana or London or wherever and for understanding that I love my job, that it feeds my soul to be creative and how I hope one day it may feed your soul too and that you'll teach your children to be hardworking and creative and for knowing in your heart that no matter where I am in the world you are always with me," she said. "I love you more than you will ever know."

Wiping away her tears, the Walk the Line star said, " You can't be in this business if you don't have a wonderful supportive family and I have the most amazing family."

As is always the case with such tributes, there were also plenty of jokes being tossed around.

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Sofía Vergara revealed that she calls her pint-sized Hot Pursuit co-star, "My Little Pony," and also recalled promoting their comedy with Hispanic media outlets.

"She was so gracious that she even spoke in Spanish on live TV with a very weird accent but at least she was trying," Vergara cracked. "It was embarrassing to me."

The Modern Family star continued, "She has the best skin and the biggest butt of any white woman in Hollywood. You know, it's true—you have said it to me, too!"

Kate Hudson was 11 when she first met Witherspoon. They've been friends ever since, but also competitors.

"I can't even tell you the number of times I'd call my agent and I 'd say, 'What happened with that audition?' and he'd be like, 'Well, it's between you and Reese,'" she said with mock frustration. "And the other thing that I always heard was, 'Well, Reese has the offer, but if she passes it may come to you.' So that's been my life."

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Other presenters included Matthew McConaughey, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, music producer T Bone Burnett, Witherspoon's producing partner Bruna Papandrea and Wild director Jean-Marc Vallee.

Sponsored by Fiji Water, the tribute also included pre-taped messages from Chris Pine and Robert Downey Jr., who jokingly complained that he was having trouble ordering a table runner from Witherspoon's lifestyle website Draper James.

"I have been lucky enough to wear several Draper James dresses," Jennifer Garner gushed, before adding with a laugh, "Not tonight--this is Valentino. But I'm happy to report that [Draper James dresses] are beautifully made in America. I hope so because I didn't check. I just came up with that on the spot."

Kenny Chesney performed his hit "Wild Child" in honor of Witherspoon and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg received the organization's inaugural Sid Grauman Award.

Watch: Reese Witherspoon Weighs in on the Gender Wage Gap