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The Zurich Film Festival’s Golden Icon Award goes to Michael Douglas

School day friend Danny DeVito to accept the award on behalf of Michael Douglas

US-American actor and producer Michael Douglas will receive the Zurich Film Festival’s Golden Icon Award for his life’s work. Douglas had already agreed to collect the award in Zurich before he received the news that he had cancer. The award will now be collected on his behalf at the festival’s October 3 Closing Night by his school day friend, companion and fellow actor Danny DeVito.

Michael Douglas stands alongside the great British actor Sir Laurence Olivier as the only other artist who has ever received an Oscar for Best Film and Best Actor. Michael was the producer of director Milo Forman’s masterpiece ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1976), which won the Oscar for Best Film. He received the Oscar for Best Actor for his leading performance in WALL STREET (1987). Michael Douglas’ father, the Hollywood star Kirk Douglas, purchased the rights to ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. Aged a mere 31, Douglas had the courage to realise this difficult material and produced a film that promptly won five Oscars and became a huge global success.

Douglas and Danny DeVito have enjoyed a close private and professional bond since sharing a room together as students. DeVito made his debut film appearance in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. The two starred alongside Kathleen Turner in the 80’s adventure films ROMANCING THE STONE and THE JEWEL OF THE NILE. The conjugal drama THE WAR OF THE ROSES (1989), directed by DeVito, saw Douglas star once again alongside Kathleen Turner.

Dangerous Women

Born 1944 in New York, Michael Douglas became widely known after co-starring alongside Karl Malden in the TV series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO (1972-1975). He became one of the world’s most celebrated actors after his performance as the investment broker Gordon Gekko in the film WALL STREET. There followed further hit films involving attractive and dangerous women including FATAL ATTRACTION (1987), which features his murderous on-screen affair with Glen Close, BASIC INSTINCT (1992), which sees him fall into the equally fatal hands of Sharon Stone, and DISCLOSURE (1994), where he becomes the victim of his boss, played by Demi Moore.

He performed in Steven Soderbergh’s drug-related drama TRAFFIC (2000) alongside his second wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, who he married in the same year and with whom he shares two children. He first stepped in front of the lens with his father Kirk, his mother Diane and his son from his first marriage Cameron in the 2003 family comedy IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY.

UN Peace Ambassador

Michael Douglas has been involved in social and environmental protection projects for quite some years. He was appointed UN Peace Ambassador in 1998. Reducing the use of nuclear energy and preventing the spread of small arms are two issues that Douglas is particularly passionate about. Mikhail Gorbachev presented Michael Douglas with the World Artist Award for his life’s work in 2003. He received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, an award bestowed upon his father 18 years earlier.

First presented in 2008, the Golden Icon Award is the Zurich Film Festival’s way of honouring a personality whose acting achievements have left a lasting impression on the cinema landscape. Previous recipients include Sylvester Stallone (2008) and Morgan Freeman (2009), who both attended the prize-giving ceremony personally to receive their non-endowed awards.

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