Michael Douglas wins Emmy for Liberace role

Michael Douglas won the Emmy for his portrayal of the flamboyant piano player Liberace

Michael Douglas won the Emmy for his portrayal of the flamboyant piano player Liberace

Michael Douglas won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor at last night's award ceremony in Los Angeles .

The 68-year-old actor was honoured for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO biopic “Behind the Candelabra” .

Mr Douglas thanked his co-star and on-screen lover Matt Damon: “I can tell you, you were magnificent and the only reason I am standing here is because of you, so you really deserve half of this.”

He also thanked his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, a surprising move given the couple’s recent separation and the fact that the actress did not accompany him to the awards ceremony.

Adding extra significance to his win, Douglas thanked the film’s director Steven Soderbergh for waiting a year to start filming so that he could physically recover from throat cancer. He said: “Obviously, this picture had special meaning to me. One day, I'm dealing with mortality issues regarding my cancer, and the next day, this jewel was handed to me, this beautiful script."

The film, which did not get a cinema release in the United States and was shown only on television, also won Emmys for outstanding movie or mini-series, as well as outstanding directing for Soderbergh.

Other big winners on the night were Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her role as the US-vice president in Veep, and Claire Danes for outstanding actress in Homeland, the high-octane drama based on the Israeli series “Hatufim”.

Last updated: 12:18pm, September 23 2013