The 69-year-old actor, who got the offer to play the flamboyant entertainer Liberace while he was recovering from cancer, also thanked director Steven Soderbergh and co-star Matt Damon.
"... Two people in particular I really want to acknowledge, Matt Damon, the bravest, talented actor I've ever worked with. And the only reason you're not here is...I had more sequins," Douglas joked.
"Steven Soderbergh, what can I say He's the director, he's the cameraman, he's also the editor. I want to thank him so much. HBO, appreciate it. To Catherine, Carys, Cameron and Dylan - all my love," he added, calling out Zeta-Jones, their kids and son Cameron from his previous marriage.
Douglas and Zeta-Jones split in August and the actress was not in the audience but they have dropped hints that they may mend their relationship.