Actress Catherine O'Hara honoured at 2018 Oscar Wilde Awards

She was one of several honourees in the US on Thursday

Actress Catherine O'Hara honoured at 2018 Oscar Wilde Awards

US-Ireland Alliance 13th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards | Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for the US-Ireland Alliance

Actress Catherine O’Hara was among those honoured at this year's Oscar Wilde Awards on Thursday.

The US-Ireland Alliance celebrated the 13th annual awards in Santa Monica.

Hosted by director J.J. Abrams, other honorees included Barry Keoghan, Mark Hamill and Paula Malcomson.

Abrams kicked off the night with comedienne Kathy Griffin, who he brought on stage to read his remarks.

Griffin read: "In a year where our society is – I dearly hope - finally acknowledging the necessity of true and measurable equality for women”.

She then interjected: “That’s this year?” to which Abrams replied: “Yes, that’s this year.”

J.J. Abrams, Kathy Griffin and Mark Hamill attend the Oscar Wilde Awards 2018 at Bad Robot in Santa Monica, California | Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance

She continued: “I’m both proud and grateful to say that the US-Ireland Alliance has always been led by women.”

In introducing Mark Hamill, Abrams joked that he will always be best known for his role as Kent Murray in General Hospital and said: "It was between shots, and there we were atop this glorious island in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with Mark, in costume.

"I started playing John Williams' iconic Binary Sunset cue from Star Wars Episode Four on my phone. It was incredibly emotional.

"All any of us could think was, I can't believe I get to be here. With Kent Murray."

Mark Hamill attends the Oscar Wilde Awards 2018 at Bad Robot in Santa Monica, California | Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance

In accepting, Hamill mentioned being at the event a few years ago, when his friend, the late 'Star Wars' actress Carrie Fisher, was honored.

He also spoke of his Irish father and how he learned much about Ireland from a rich legacy of films.

He talked about filming 'Star Wars' in Ireland and how 'The Force Awakens' will alone mean billions for the Irish economy - “not to mention encouraging countless 'Star Wars' nerds to make it a go-to destination.”

In introducing Catherine O’Hara, actor and comedian Martin Short said: “I am proud to call Catherine O’Hara my friend and it’s not because she’s successful or rich, it’s because she’s both.

"In fact, of all the people in show business I truly admire, Catherine is very close to being one of them.

Martin Short (left) and Catherine O'Hara attend the Oscar Wilde Awards 2018 at Bad Robot in Santa Monica, California | Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance

"Catherine, you deserve this award my love, and not just because you campaigned the hardest to get it.

"Catherine O’Hara has been one of the greatest comedic influences in my life. You are a breathtakingly brilliant, staggering original who has, and continues to, inspire.”

O’Hara joked that the Irish “mock us for wandering through your graveyards, searching for someone, anyone, with our last names.”

She spoke of the importance of her Irish heritage, and the country, saying: “Who doesn’t want to be associated with people known for their deep and undying love of the land, the letter, romance, family, laughter - at themselves, almost as much as at others - music and any lovely thing that brings a tear to the eye.

Colin Farrell (left) and J.J. Abrams attend the Oscar Wilde Awards 2018 at Bad Robot in Santa Monica, California | Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance

"A land of passionately empathetic poets, composers, politicians, filmmakers, revolutionaries and first responders. All the great qualities we strive for in America, we take for granted in the Irish.”

Guests at the event included Ava DuVernay, Andy Serkis, Jason O’Mara, Andrea Martin, Sean Hayes, Victoria Smurfit, Dana Delany, Karl Urban, Nora-Jane Noone, Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter.

Several industry executives were also there - including Paramount chairman Jim Gianopulos, Disney chairman Alan Horn and Warner Bros president Peter Roth.