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CBS will broadcast the show on Dec. 27.

Earlier President Obama lauded the actors and musicians at the White House.

“They have different talents, and they’ve traveled different paths,” Mr. Obama said. “And yet they belong here together because each of tonight’s honorees has felt the need to express themselves and share that expression with the world.”

He said everyone has that desire for self-expression in common.

“That’s why we dance, even if, as Michelle says, I look silly doing it,” he added to laughter.

Mrs. Clinton flew home between visits to Myanmar and Germany to honor the artists with a dinner Saturday night. After visiting the isolated Southeast Asian country also known as Burma, Mrs. Clinton said such U.S. artists have worldwide influence by using their freedom of creativity.

“You may not know it, but somewhere in a little tiny room in Burma or even in North Korea, someone is desperately trying to hear you or to see you, to experience you,” Mrs. Clinton said. “And if they are lucky enough to make that connection, it can literally change lives and countries.”

Miss Streep, 62, has made more than 45 movies and won two Oscars in her career. Her movies have ranged from Shakespeare and “Angels in America” to portraying chef Julia Child in “Julie and Julia.”

In her upcoming film, Miss Streep will play British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”

Miss Streep said she was in awe of the accolades from the president and others.

“Look where we are; look who’s here,” Miss Streep told the Associated Press. “It’s overwhelming. I feel very proud.”

Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway, who co-stared with Miss Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada,” joined Kevin Kline and Stanley Tucci for a musical tribute to Miss Streep.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick opened the tributes to Miss Cook, recalling the days when they first started dating and went to hear Miss Cook sing at the Cafe Carlyle in New York.

“I don’t think Matthew at the time knew what kind of special memory he was creating for us,” Miss Parker said.

“Oh, I knew,” Mr. Broderick said back.

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