The People’s Choice is Johnny for Favorite Movie Icon

In the closing minutes of the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday night, a surprise guest showed up: Johnny Depp, who won the prize for Favorite Movie Icon and thanked his fans for standing by him through “good times or bad.”

The 53-year-old actor looked a little teary as he slowly made his way through an acceptance speech, occasionally interrupted by fans screaming “I love you!”

“I came here for you, the people — who, through whatever good times or bad, you know, have stood by me, trusted me. Thank you,” Depp said. The crowd roared its approval.

Depp didn’t get into specifics, but he emphasized his gratitude. “You’ve very, very graciously invited me here once again tonight. So I appreciate that very much. You have no idea how much I appreciate it,” he continued. “I was very deeply affected by the kindness of your recognition and by your well wishes to my family and to myself, which is why it’s especially meaningful to me to be here in front of you to say thank you. And to tell you that I truly feel that need to thank you.”

“Because, in all honesty,” Depp concluded, “We all know that none of us, especially me, wouldn’t be standing up here if it weren’t for you tonight. So thank you.” He ended with a shout-out to his mother, Betty Sue Palmer, who died last spring: “Give ’em hell, Betty Sue,” he said, raising his trophy in the air and looking to the sky.

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