(Cannes) “I wondered how I could last so long”: American star Michael Douglas received a standing ovation before receiving the Palme d’or d’honneur at the Cannes Film Festival to crown his 55-year career .

“What a hug!” “, he exclaimed in front of the room which warmly applauded him and where his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his daughter Carys were present.

“It means a lot to me, because there are hundreds of film festivals in the world, but there is only one Cannes. […] It’s an incredible honor,” he said.

“I’m getting a little older,” the 78-year-old American actor joked again. “Looking at my 55 years (of career), I wondered how I could last so long”, he commented, while adding: “we work as hard for our failures as for our hit “.

This festival “reminds us […] that cinema transcends limits and unites borders”, he further underlined.

“To Cannes and to all of France, I would like to kiss with all my heart,” he said in French, before American actress Uma Thurman presented him with the award. She called Douglas “an iconic movie star” and a “luminous artist.”

A short film was shown shortly before his appearance on stage, showing short excerpts from his most emblematic films, such as Liaison fatale (1987), Basic Instinct (1992) or My life with Liberace (2013). Last year, it was Forest Whitaker and Tom Cruise who received the Palme d’or d’honneur.