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Michelle Williams' Emotional Tribute To 'Dawson's Creek' Costar Accidentally Sparks Concerns She Died

The actor gave the misinterpreted speech at the 2022 Gotham Awards honoring Mary Beth Peil, who wasn't able to attend the ceremony.

Michelle Williams; Mary Beth Peil
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Bruce Glikas/WireImage/Getty Images

At the 2022 Gotham Awards on Monday, actor Michelle Williams gave a beautiful speech upon accepting the Film Tribute Award, paying a heartfelt tribute to former Dawson's Creek co-star Mary Beth Peil.

However, the speech was misinterpreted by many, sparking concern Peil—who played Williams' grandmother in the series—had died.

In the speech, Williams shared:

"Whenever something good happens for me in my life, I can draw a straight line back to somebody who was meant to be here tonight, but, being a New Yorker, means living in a reality that you are definitely not in control of—so she's not in the room, but she's in my heart."

Williams revealed she was an "emancipated minor" when she met Peil at 16 and was "totally alone."

"Mary Beth Peil was the first artist that I had ever met in my life.
"She didn't call herself that, but there was something different about her."
"It was the way she asked questions, the way that she leaned into conversations, and how excited she seemed for every moment of every day on our TV set."
"And I didn't know what this ineffable quality was, but I knew I wanted to pull my chair closer to hers."

She concluded her speech with:

"I wouldn't have known how to handle being Steven Spielberg's mother [in 'The Fabelmans'] without having been Mary Beth's granddaughter, so thank you Mary Beth, and thank you Gotham Awards for this."

You can watch the full speech below.

WARNING: NSFW language

Needless to say, Twitter users suffered a moment of panic.

Those who caught the beginning of the speech knew Peil was alive and well.

They applauded Williams for both her award and her display of gratitude for Peil.

Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans garnered lots of Oscar buzz especially for Williams' role as Mitzi Fabelman.

As for Peil, you can catch her at the off-Broadway show A Man of No Importance.