Danny DeVito, Jimmy Buffett and Bette Midler all came out to fete Michael Douglas at the Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s 37th annual Chaplin Award ceremony on Monday night, but it was the absence of his son Cameron that seemed to stand out at the event.
“No one could shake the feeling that what Michael had gone through with his son was still omnipresent,” says an insider at Alice Tully Hall. “It definitely had an impact on the evening.”
A source in the know, who has attended this event in past years, added: “It was a much different feel than when Tom Hanks was honored in 2009. Even though it was still really touching, last time everyone drank a lot more and there was a lot more laughter.
“And it’s not like Hanks is a bigger star than Michael – Douglas really is a legend.”
But it’s not too surprising that after what the “Wall Street 2″ actor has recently gone through with his son – who is serving time on drug charges in a minimum-security prison in Lewisburg, Pa. – the night would be a little more somber.
For a moment, slightly awkward, too: While Douglas profusely thanked his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones – calling her “Cathy” – and their two children, Dylan and Carys, during his acceptance speech, he left out mention of Cameron. Says our party going snitch: “It struck the audience as a little odd.”
It seems that his scary-skinny missus, however, had no problem bringing up her stepson.
“I’m most proud of [Michael] for the role of a father; the commitment to the three of our [children], Cameron, Dylan and Carys, is extraordinary,” she said through tears. “And I thank you every day for that, darling.”
But even her performance couldn’t warm up the evening: Most of the A-list guests said their goodbyes after the speeches were through, and only Michael and “Wonder Boys” director Curtis Hanson showed to the after-party bash.
“It would have been nice for Michael if it was a bit more festive, although I think everyone understood why it was a little different than years past,” says another attendee. “But it was still so important – and really moving – how many of his colleagues and friends came out to support him.”