Last night’s Golden Globes was one of the leanest and most satisfying network award ceremonies in recent memory, filled with great moments both funny and touching. But it turns out TV audiences weren’t even privy to what was arguably the most heartwarming moment of the night, which involved Kevin Spacey and fellow Golden Globe winner Karen Sharpe (Johnny Ringo).

The House of Cards star took the stage while winning his first Golden Globe in eight tries for Best Actor in a Drama, and his acceptance speech was masterful. First adopting the slow drawl of Frank Underwood to say his revenge is coming, Spacey then went into a long-ish inspirational story about his good friend Stanley Kramer, the Judgment at Nuremberg director who passed away in 2001 after a long bout with illness. As it turns out, Kramer’s widow Karen was in the crowd and was extremely moved by Spacey’s words.

According to Deadline, Karen Kramer took it upon herself to find where Spacey was sitting. And as the show was still in motion, she knelt down next to him and told him how much his words moved her. And then…
We both cried. It was a moment that I think we will both cherish for the rest of our lives.

She did try to find him again afterward to no avail, as he’d already taken off to head back to work, but the rest of her night was filled with friends and acquaintances vocally sharing their appreciation for Spacey’s speech. And for good reason, as it’s a powerful memory that doesn’t have to do much to inspire humility. You can read most of it below.
The last time that I saw Stanley Kramer, one of the great filmmakers of all time, was at the Motion Picture and Television Home, and I was sitting with him and he was in a wheelchair. He was ill at this time. And as I was about to leave, I realized that I had never told him what I thought about his work, how much his work had meant to me. And so I said to him, ‘The film you made, the subjects you tackled, the performances you got out of some of the greatest actors that have ever walked the face of the earth, the Oscars you won, your films will stand the test of time and will influence filmmaker for all time.’ And I didn’t know whether he had really retained what I said or not. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t. But as I stood up to leave, he grabbed my hand. And I looked at his wife, who was across the room, and I sat back down. And he said as clearly to me as anything he’d ever said: ‘Thank you so much for saying that. That means so much so me. I just wish my films had been better.’ And so, as I stand here tonight as someone who has enjoyed such an extraordinary career, in large measure because of the people in this room, I just want it to be better. I just want to be better, and this [holding up the trophy] is very encouraging.”

Quite a difference from Billy Bob Thornton, who basically just said thanks and left it at that. Spacey’s speech was immediately followed by a commercial break which aired the promo for House of Cards Season 3, which will premiere on Netflix on February 27. Will he be able to repeat the win next year?

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