Hollywood heavyweights Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage were among the stars who paid tribute to producer Jerry Bruckheimer during a star-studded ceremony in California on Thursday night (12Dec13).

Bruckheimer, the brains behind films including Top Gun, Bad Boys and Pirates of the Caribbean, was presented with the 27th American Cinematheque Award in a glitzy event at the Beverly Hilton hotel, and the cream of Hollywood turned out to honour him.

Willis, who appeared in Bruckheimer's 1998 blockbuster Armageddon, was given the job of presenting him with the trophy, which has only ever been given to actors, and he hailed him as a "generous and gracious man."

Clips from a number of his most famous movies were also shown throughout the evening and presenters included Jon Voight, who has appeared in five Bruckheimer films, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Ben Kingsley, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Armie Hammer, composer Hans Zimmer, and Marg Helgenberger, who starred in the producer's hit Tv show Csi: Crime Scene Investigation.

Cruise and Cage also filmed taped tributes which were shown at the event, along with Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp, who credited the producer with helping him keep his place in the Disney franchise, saying, "Basically, a number of Disney types or two would have liked to see me replaced at Disney... fired... and were talking about putting in subtitles in (sic) for (my character) Captain Jack and couldn't understand what the character was or who he was or why he was and why I was playing it that way, and they were quite upset. Jerry stuck by me the whole way... He's the great protector. He's quite a force to experience."

Tributes also came in from Martin Lawrence and Eric Bana, while Bruckheimer used his speech to remember his filmmaker friend Tony Scott, who died last year (12), calling him a "true visual genius whose energy and unique vision set the standard for high-voltage filmmaking."

The evening also included a performance by Berlin star Terri Nunn, who sang Top Gun theme Take My Breath Away.

Cage, Cruise and Willis are all among previous recipients of the award.