President Barack Obama honored folk legend Bob Dylan and actor/director Clint Eastwood in a star-studded ceremony at the White House on Thursday.
Celebrities including Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker gathered in Washington, D.C. to watch the American leader present the National Medal of Arts awards - although the day's most famous winners, Dylan and Eastwood, were not present to collect their prizes.
A statement from the White House hailed Dylan as "an icon of youthful rebellion and poetic sensitivity" and praised Eastwood's films as "essays in individuality, hard truths and the essence of what it means to be American."
Obama noted the pair's absence and told the crowd, "Obviously, their careers have marked the landscape of American culture for decades. They (the winners of these awards) bring us joy, they bring us understanding and insight, they bring us comfort in the good times and perhaps especially in difficult times in our own lives and the life of our nation."
The president also presented an award to famed movie music composer John Williams, as well as singer/actor Rita Moreno, soprano Jessye Norman and artist Frank Stella.