Actress Susan Sarandon pays tribute to David Bowie during Screen Actors Guild Awards

Leonard Nimoy and Alan Rickman were also remembered at the annual awards gala

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has paid tribute to the late David Bowie at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The ‘Thelma & Louise’ star introduced the traditional In Memoriam segment of the ceremony, in which recently deceased actors Leonard Nimoy and Alan Rickman were also honoured.

Speaking about her “dear friend David Bowie”, Sarandon said, “All clichés are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is.”

“Those words resonate when we’ve lost someone who made a special impact on us. So now let’s pause to remember some of the actors whose earthly voices have been silenced, but whose brilliance and creativity still speak in the unforgettable work they’ve left behind,” she went on.

The affectionate tribute comes after Sarandon revealed in 2014 that she used to date the British rockstar.

She unveiled news of their love affair in an interview with The Daily Beast, calling her former lover “extraordinary”.

“He’s worth idolising. He’s extraordinary,” she said. “That was a really interesting period. I wasn’t supposed to have kids, and I’m the oldest of nine and had mothered all of them, so I wasn’t ever in a mode to where I was looking to settle down and raise a family, so that definitely changes the gene pool you’re dipping into.”

David Bowie passed away earlier this month after an 18 month battle with liver cancer. He was privately cremated in New York according to reports.

The SAG Awards have been praised for their diversity today, as black actors took home several of the ceremony’s top prizes. The industry honoured four black actors including ‘Luther’ star Idris Elba – who won two awards for the acclaimed BBC TV show and Netflix film ‘Beasts Of No Nation’ – Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba and Queen Latifah.