• Awards

Michael Douglas to Receive the Palme d’Or

Legendary actor Michael Douglas will be on hand at the Cannes Film Festival to receive the prestigious Honorary Palme d’Or. To commemorate the Golden Globe and Oscar-winning actor-producer’s career, the documentary Michael Douglas, The Prodigal Son, will be presented at the festival on May 14 and May 16.

Michael Douglas said in a press release, “It is always a breath of fresh air to be at Cannes, which has long provided a wonderful platform for bold creators, artistic audacities, and excellence in storytelling.”

He added, “From my first time here in 1979 for The China Syndrome to my most recent premiere for Behind the Candelabra in 2013; the Festival has always reminded me that the magic of cinema is not just in what we see onscreen but in its ability to impact people all around the world. After more than 50 years in the business, it’s an honor to return to the Croisette to open the Festival and embrace our shared global language of film.”


Douglas, now 78, began his acting career in the late 1960s. He gained widespread recognition in the 1980s for his roles in films such as Romancing the Stone, Wall Street, and Fatal Attraction.

He won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in the 1987 film Wall Street. As producer, Douglas also won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in 1976. He has amassed a grand total of six Golden Globe awards, including the Cecil B. deMille in 2004, and has garnered a further eight nominations.

Having starred in over 80 films throughout his career, Douglas established himself as one of the most respected and accomplished actors of his generation. Other notable performances in films include Basic Instinct, The American President, Traffic, and, more recently, Ant-Man and its sequel. He has also appeared in several television shows, including the Golden Globe-winning HBO series The Kominsky Method and Behind the Candelabra.

The upcoming documentary, directed by Amine Mestari and appropriately titled The Prodigal Son, shines a light on the trials and tribulations of being a second-generation Hollywood star. He is the first child of actors Golden Globe winner Kirk Douglas (1916–2020) and Diana Dill (1923–2015).

During a press conference with the HFPA in 2019 to promote The Kominsky Method, he said, “There’s not a lot of second-generation people in the business that have succeeded. It always surprises me that there is a short number that has succeeded and an even shorter number that have exceeded for 50 years. So, I take pride in that. But it was really about halfway through my career. It wasn’t until the year of Fatal Attraction and Wall Street – and getting the Oscar for Wall Street where, for me symbolically, it was stepping out of the shadow of my father – when I felt like I achieved a level of acknowledgment and success. A lot of it has to go with the passing of the guard, as my father’s career began to diminish. He was, you know, 70 or more. He had more time, you know. He was of a generation that was making five movies a year, easy. He started before there was any television.”

Douglas follows in a long line of esteemed recipients of the Palme d’Or, such as Tom Cruise, Catherine Deneuve, Jodie Foster, and Forest Whitaker.