Steven Spielberg missed the Gotham Awards after testing positive for COVID-19.

The iconic 75-year-old filmmaker was meant to appear at the ceremony in New York on Monday night (28.11.22) to present Michelle Williams with a performer tribute, but he was instead replaced by Paul Dano, who co-starred with the actress in Spielberg's 'The Fabelmans'.

During the presentation, Dano recalled being with Williams at the film's Hollywood premiere and told the audience: "Michelle said, 'I remember just driving around town looking for work.'

"And I thought, 'Imagine if that teenage girl knew that at the midpoint of her career she’d be seeing a tribute award at the Gothams from none other than Steven Spielberg, and what would she have thought?'

"Then I thought, 'Well, what if we had to tell that girl that Steven got COVID?' She’d be like, 'What’s COVID?' And that 'Paul Dano was going to introduce you?' She’d be like, 'Who the f*** is Paul Dano?' "

In 'The Fabelmans' - which is semi-autobiographical and based on Spielberg's parents - Williams plays his mother, and she paid tribute to her late 'Dawson's Creek' co-star Mary Beth Peil for helping her acting career.

She said in her acceptance speech: "I wouldn’t have known how to handle being Steven Spielberg’s mother without having been Mary Beth’s granddaughter."

In a statement announcing the award last month, Jeffrey Sharp - executive director of The Gotham Film And Media Institute - heaped praise on Williams for her work.

He said in a statement: "We are exceptionally proud to honor Michelle Williams, whose iconic performances in collaboration with our most renowned directors have defined her as a leading talent of her generation.

"Michelle is a true New Yorker and we are thrilled to claim her as one of our own by recognising her with a Performer Tribute at this year’s Gotham Awards."