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Michael Douglas’ emotional tribute to his late stepmother Anne Douglas will have you in tears

Michael's eloquent speech came on the heels of sharing his personal battle with cancer

Michael Douglas during the Franklin press tour
Faye James
Senior Editor
11 April 2024
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On a star-studded evening that glittered with the spirit of giving and remembrance, Michael Douglas delivered a poignant speech that touched the hearts of many at the 25th An Unforgettable Evening gala, organized by the Women's Cancer Research Fund. 

In a touching tribute to his late stepmother, Anne Douglas, Michael, with profound emotion in his voice, celebrated her indomitable spirit and her incredible journey. 

"I am honored by remarkable, indomitable, unforgettable, and yes, courageous, Anne Douglas and all the amazing mothers and stepmothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and friends out there," Michael articulated via a virtual video, his words resonating deeply with the attendees gathered at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel.

 (L-R) Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anne Douglas, and Michael Douglas © Tibrina Hobson
(L-R) Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anne Douglas, and Michael Douglas

In a gesture that underscored the evening's theme of hope and support for cancer research, Michael announced, "I would like to announce that the Douglas Foundation is making a $500,000 pledge for the Women's Cancer Research Fund. Thank you, Anne, the Women's Cancer Research Fund, and to all of you who make this unforgettable evening possible." 

He further shared a heartfelt message from his father, encapsulating the ethos of generosity, "To quote Ann's biggest fan of all, my father, as long as we have the capacity to give, we are alive. Thank you all for giving and supporting such a worthwhile organization."

The gala, a beacon of hope and support for cancer research, honored the trailblazing actress Demi Moore with the Courage Award for her unwavering dedication to raising awareness for breast cancer. 

Philanthropist Wallis Annenberg was celebrated with the Unsung Hero Award for her visionary philanthropy through the Annenberg Foundation, marking significant strides in the fight against cancer and enhancing community well-being. She also donated an impressive $1million to the cause. 

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas © Dave Benett
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas

An Unforgettable Evening stands as WCRF’s flagship fundraising event, a remarkable gathering that unites leaders in entertainment, cancer research, and corporate philanthropy in a collective effort to fund pioneering cancer research across the United States. 

Michael's eloquent speech came on the heels of sharing his personal battle with cancer, offering a testament to the resilience and newfound appreciation for life that defines his journey. 

 Dylan Michael Douglas,  Catherine Zeta-Jones and Carys Zeta Douglas© Bonnie Biess
Dylan Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Carys Zeta Douglas

"I look at this generally as my third act," he reflected, noting his cancer-free status since January 2011 after a challenging fight with stage four throat cancer.

Michael’s resolve and dedication were further highlighted in the wake of his mother Diana's passing from cancer in July, as he continued to honor her memory through his work, including his role in Marvel's Ant-Man. 

Inspired by his children's enthusiasm, Michael embraced the opportunity to reach new audiences, "My kids just loved the idea... My kid advised me and said, 'Dad, this is a whole new audience for you. Just remember that.'"

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