Organisers of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California have been forced to postpone their salute to Forest Whitaker because the Oscar winner is in South Africa to say farewell to Nelson Mandela. Whitaker was scheduled to be handed the 2013 Kirk Douglas Award at a ceremony on Sunday (15Dec13) - the same day the civil rights icon will be laid to rest in the village of Qunu, where he was born.
A statement from event bosses reads: "Due to the passing of Nelson Mandela, Forest Whitaker will be in South Africa and unable to make it to Santa Barbara on Sunday, December 15th. The Kirk Douglas Award (presentation) has been rescheduled to Sunday January 5th."
Mandela died from a lung infection last Thursday (05Dec13), aged 95.
A memorial service was held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday (10Dec13), when Bono, Charlize Theron and Naomi Campbell joined world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, in mourning.
Michael Douglas' teenage son is keen to follow in his famous parents' footsteps and pursue a career in acting. Dylan Douglas has been trying to convince his Oscar-winning father to help him break into the family business.
He tells U.S. TV host Jay Leno, "Dylan doesn't see any reason to do anything else because he wants to act. He doesn't want to go to school or anything, he wants to be an actor.
"But he was at me the other day, he said, 'Look Dad, I've been president of my sixth grade, my seventh grade, I'm in eighth grade now and I'm president of the school'. I said, 'Dylan, I know, I'm so proud of you'. He said, 'Dad, I've been on the honour roll for two years straight... You've seen me in Oliver when I played the Artful Dodger'. I said, 'I couldn't see anyone else, Dylan, you were great'. So he says to me, 'Dad, how about throwing me a bone?' So I said, 'Sure, OK, we'll work on it'. So he's negotiating with me.
Despite his son's enthusiasm, the Wall Street star does have some reservations about the 13 year old going into acting too early.
He continues, "I think it's great, I never wanted to do it (push him into acting), he's just starting early, but I'm a little worried about this no need for school thing."
The movie star's incarcerated grown-up son Cameron also embarked on an acting career - like his father and grandfather Kirk Douglas - before he was jailed for drug offences.
Michael Douglas has suffered a major blow in his public bid for a prison visit with his incarcerated son Cameron after officials at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) withdrew their support and shut down an online petition lobbying prison authorities for access. The Wall Street star recently revealed he and his ex-wife Diandra Luker have been banned from seeing their son for two years after he was placed in solitary confinement as punishment for a mishap behind bars in Pennsylvania, where he is serving a nine-year sentence for non-violent drug offences.
And, after referencing the ban in his Primetime Emmy Awards acceptance speech last month (Sep13), fans of the actor rushed to support a new petition on Change.org aimed at urging prison bosses to reconsider their decision, but the campaign, which was spearheaded by activists at the DPA, has since been removed from the website.
According to TMZ.com, organisation bosses had a change of heart about the appeal and decided it was unfair to help an individual case instead of focusing on their main goal of prison reform.
The development comes shortly after editors at the New York Post reported that Luker and Douglas have been appealing to famous friends, like Yoko Ono and designers Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg, to lend their backing to the petition.
In an email circulated to their powerful pals, they wrote, "We have not seen our son for over a year, and the government is telling us we cannot see our son for TWO YEARS...! Cameron has also been in solitary confinement for TWO YEARS! (For a non violent crime of possession).
"As parents we are fighting back... PLEASE help us by forwarding this petition after signature, to anyone you know who would like to help the cause."
Michael Douglas' fans are supporting a new petition urging prison authorities to allow the movie star to visit his jailed son. The actor's son Cameron is currently serving time behind bars on drug offences and Douglas has been banned from visiting him for two years while he is held in solitary confinement.
However, fans of the star have now teamed up to sign a petition to assist in reuniting the pair.
Activist Tony Papa, who started the petition on Change.org, says, "Michael Douglas is being punished for his son's drug addiction... Hopefully, Michael Douglas will be able to visit his son and the issue of punitive punishment such as this will change and individuals with similar situations will be provided relief."
Douglas was named Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra at the Emmy Awards last month (Sep13), and he used his acceptance speech to plead with authorities to let him see his son.
Cameron is incarcerated in Pennsylvania, where he is serving a sentence of nearly 10 years for non-violent drug crimes.
Michael Douglas used his Emmy Awards acceptance speech as a public plea to prison authorities to let him see his incarcerated son Cameron because he has been told he won't be allowed to visit for two years. The actor took to the stage at the glitzy bash in Los Angeles on Sunday night (22Sep13) to pick up the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra.
In his acceptance speech, Douglas mentioned his son, who is currently serving time behind bars on drug offences, saying, "I'm hoping that I'll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon."
Douglas has now explained the remark, revealing his son is in solitary confinement and the actor claims prison authorities have told him he won't be able to visit for two years.
Speaking in the press room at the ceremony, Douglas told reporters, "Well, my son is in federal prison... And part of their punishments if you happen to have a slip - this is for a prisoner who is nonviolent... they punish you. So for my son's case, he's spent almost two years in solitary confinement and right now I'm being told that I cannot see him for two years... It's over a year now and I'm questioning the system. Obviously, at first, I was certainly disappointed with my son, but I've reached a point now where I'm very, very disappointed with the system."
Michael Douglas further distanced himself from tabloid reports suggesting his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones is over by thanking her in his acceptance speech at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday (22Sep13). The movie star picked up the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie honour for his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra and, although his wife wasn't by his side at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, she wasn't far from his thoughts.
He said, "I wanna thank my wife Catherine for her support and my kids Dylan and Carys."
There was also a "shout out" to his older son, Cameron, who is currently serving time behind bars, adding, "I'm hoping that I'll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon."
Douglas insisted his marriage to Zeta-Jones is far from over when quizzed about the couple's separation at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany at the beginning of the month (Sep13), telling reporters that relations are "fine" between himself and his wife.
He explained, "My wife and I are fine. We take a temporary separation, but the press, it gives you stuff to write about."
Zeta-Jones returned to the red carpet on Saturday (21Sep13) for the first-time since announcing her separation from Douglas by attending an event in China to launch a new film studio.
Douglas was still wearing his wedding ring at the Emmys on Sunday, and he told Access Hollywood, "Catherine is great. She is doing wonderful, talked to her today (and)] just got a lovely note from her. I'm very hopeful that we're going to work things out... As I said we're just taking a break, a couple issues, sometimes you gotta do that."
Veteran actor Michael Douglas has risked the wrath of his ex-wife Diandra after insisting they should have split almost a decade before they actually parted ways in 1995. The couple, which wed in 1977, spent the final years of its union attempting to salvage its relationship with the help of a marriage counsellor, but the Wall Street star suggests the sessions were pointless - because they already knew they had fallen out of love.
He tells Britain's The Mirror newspaper, "I know I'm going to get into trouble here. I have nothing against her and in fact I'm very fond of my first wife. But we should have ended that marriage eight or 10 years earlier.
"It took me too long to realise that if you go to a marriage counsellor to resolve problems, it's in his interest to keep the marriage going. Because if I end the marriage he's got no business... I think Diandra would probably say the same thing. That's the only clear regret that I have."
Douglas' divorce from Diandra dragged on for five years and was only finalised in 2000, when she was awarded a $45 million (£30 million) settlement.
Douglas went on to wed Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones later that year (00).
Diandra is the mother of the actor's eldest son, Cameron, who is currently incarcerated for drug possession charges.
Michael Douglas has vowed to fight for a complete overhaul of America's legal system after lawmakers upheld his son's lengthy prison sentence on drug charges. The Wall Street star's son, Cameron, is serving five years behind bars for distributing drugs, but his sentence was doubled in 2011 after he committed several infractions behind bars, including smuggling medication into his prison cell.
Douglas helped his son challenge the increased sentence, but in April (13), lawmakers at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York refused to overturn the ruling, meaning Cameron will remain in prison until 2018.
The Oscar-winner has now revealed he was left distraught after losing the appeal and he is determined to campaign to help change the way addicts are treated behind bars.
He tells Britain's Event magazine, "I cried (when we lost the appeal). It is the last time I cried. I don't know how else to say this other than it broke my heart. You have a vision of someone you love and care about and it feels unfair and you are helpless. It's been my trial. My tragedy. We've struggled together since he was 13."
Douglas is adamant his son was treated unfairly, and he now wants to campaign for changes to the way drug addicts are handled by the legal system.
He adds, "I have an issue with the court and prison system, about how we treat non-violent drug addicts. His punishment is too harsh. I want to get involved in working out reforms. I know a lot about it now. Cameron got the most severe sentence in the history of the U.S. penal system. It's just unrealistic. My son deserved to get arrested, but not to be harshly punished for obtaining drugs in prison.
Michael Douglas is still convinced U.S. authorities are "making an example" of his imprisoned son Cameron because of his famous last name. The 34-year-old actor was ordered to serve five years in prison in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to charges of distributing drugs, but his sentence was doubled in late 2011 after he committed several infractions behind bars, including smuggling medication into his cell.
His lawyers filed an appeal in a bid to overturn the conviction, but the ruling was upheld last month (Apr13) and Cameron Douglas will only walk free in 2018.
Oscar-winner Michael insists his troubled son deserves to be punished for his crimes, but he is adamant the lengthy sentence was overly harsh - and feels sure his famous familial connections are to blame.
In a candid chat with New York Magazine, he explains, "I have gone from being a very disappointed but loving father who felt his son got what was due him to realising that Lady Justice's blindfold is really slipping.
"I'm not defending Cameron as a drug dealer or drug addict, but I believe, because of his last name, he's being made an example (of)."
A U.S. court has upheld a 10-year prison sentence handed down to Michael Douglas' troubled son Cameron. The actor was ordered to serve five years in prison in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to charges of distributing drugs, but his sentence was doubled in late 2011 after he committed several infractions behind bars, including smuggling medication into his cell.
Lawyers filed an appeal in a bid to overturn Judge Richard Berman's decision, but on Monday (15Apr13) lawmakers at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed with the earlier ruling, according to the Associated Press.
The 34 year old is due to walk free in 2018.
This is the latest in a slew of setbacks for the Wall Street star's embattled son - he reportedly suffered a broken leg and finger in October (12) after being attacked behind bars for co-operating with authorities and testifying against his two suppliers, and in January (13) he was placed in solitary confinement for allegedly failing a drug test.
Born Sept. 25, 1944; Academy Award-wining actor ("Wall Street," 1987) and producer; Co-starred with father Kirk, mother Diana, and son Cameron in "It Runs in the Family" (2003)
Born Dec. 9, 1916; starred in "Paths of Glory" (1957) and "Spartacus" (1960); Co-starred with son Michael, grandson Cameron, and ex-wife Diana in "It Runs in the Family" (2003)
While serving a five-year prison sentence for drug dealing, Douglas pleaded guilty on Oct. 20, 2011 to possessing drugs in his jail cell. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
In a statement, his father Michael Douglas said, "Cameron accepts full responsibility for his conduct, which involved a small user-quantity of drugs. While he has made much progress, he is still not cured. Most people and their families are able to address this illness privately and outside of the spotlight. Unfortunately this has not been possible here, for reasons completely outside of his control. He thanks those that have rooted for his recovery and looks forward to the day when he will not disappoint."