Last year, Julia Roberts presented the American Cinematheque award to pal George Clooney. This time it was her turn to receive the honor.

The smile, the laugh and the looks that have become familiar to movie-goers were on full display Friday as Roberts was recognized for her contributions to the film industry. On hand were Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman and Sally Field.

Roberts said she came along at the right time to turn into an A-list actress.

"I think I came along at a kinder time in the business," Roberts said. "It wasn't about fashion, and there weren't so many media outlets, it was just kind of different. You could really cultivate your work a little more gently."

Roberts' portrayal of crusading legal advocate "Erin Brockovich" won the actress an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The actress' film credits also include "Pretty Woman," "Steel Magnolias" and "Mystic Pizza."

Other notable Cinematheque Award recipients include Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, Sean Connery, and Al Pacino.