The 56-year-old actor made his stage debut as former New York Post and Daily News columnist Mike McAlary on Monday night and was overcome with emotion after starring in his close friend Nora Ephron's play, who died of leukemia aged 71 last year.

Speaking from the Broadhurst Theatre after the show, Tom told the New York Post newspaper: "That was a tough moment. We were going to do this, and Nora and [show director] George C. Wolfe were going to walk out on stage. I miss her. What more can you say?

"Nora was ... fascinated by everything. She was always doing things that were so interesting. She told me, 'Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly.' "

Tom, who is married to actress Rita Wilson, understands the news industry better after embodying the late American journalist and now sees The New York Post's Page Six gossip page as an "art form", which has a vital place in society.

He added: "I kinda get it now. There was a time when if you were on Page Six, your life was hell for an easy week and a half, but now if you are on Page Six, it might embarrass you a little bit ... but I am not one of the Kardashians, so I am not getting in your way.

"Now I get it as an art form. I get it as a job that really does somehow serve the pulse in the city."

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