updated 05/25/2010 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/25/2010 AT 1:05 PM ET
Michael Douglas has been acting since the ’60s. But at an event in New York on Monday honoring his lauded career, friends and family spoke of his more personal accomplishments away from the camera.
“The role that I’m so proud of, and there have been many … is the role of father,” an emotional Catherine Zeta-Jones told an audience in New York gathered to see her husband accept the 2010 Chaplin Award from the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
“He has shown our children a love, a commitment, to the three of them … Cameron, Dylan and Carys,” said Zeta-Jones, 40. “And he has love for them that is extraordinary.”
Privately, Douglas, 65, told PEOPLE that the family is doing well after a difficult time that saw Cameron, 31, sentenced to five years in prison on drug charges. “God bless my son,” he said. “I think he’s in a safe place. He’ll be there for a while. And [he’ll] start a new life.”