"There's got to be an easier way to get a standing ovation," Douglas joked about his warm reception. "Thank you all very much. I'm really very, very happy to be here tonight," he added.
Douglas went on to announce the winner in the category, David Fincher's Facebook tale "The Social Network," which took the prize over "Black Swan," "The King's Speech," "Inception" and "The Fighter."
Earlier in the night, Douglas lost for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture to Christian Bale ("The Fighter"). He was nominated for reprising his role as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." But in spite of the loss, it was a triumphant return for the Hollywood A-lister who recently underwent cancer treatment and just this past week announced on the "Today" show that he's now cancer-free.
"I think the odds are with the tumor gone and what I know about this particular type of cancer, that I've got it beat," Douglas told host Matt Lauer, about six months after he first publicly revealed he had the disease.
"I have to check out on a monthly basis now to maintain. I guess there's not a total euphoria. I'll probably take a couple of months of getting checked out. But it's been a wild six-month ride."