The actor, who was recently diagnosed with stage four throat cancer, was among the celebrities touched by the disease, who opened the U.S. telethon with stern messages.
Appearing on a huge screen over the stage at Sony Studios in Culver City, California - where the awareness and fundraising event was held live - Douglas said, "Cancer doesn't care how many Oscars you've won or how many tough guys you've played."
He was joined by Kathy Bates, who stated, "Cancer doesn't care how well you sling a sledgehammer," referring to her gruesome role in Misery, and actress Maura Tierney, who is battling breast cancer.
The former E.R. star left TV viewers with a lot to think about as she strolled onstage and stated, "Cancer doesn't care that it just took your father."
And cancer survivors Michael C. Hall and Christina Applegate wrapped up the introduction to the telethon, urging fans to help kill cancer by phoning into the show and donating cash to cancer research.