Danny DeVito will accept the Golden Icon award on behalf of his friend Michael Douglas at the Zurich Film Festival in October.
Douglas, 65, had been due to attend the awards himself but it was announced last week he is to undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy for a cancerous tumour in his throat.
DeVito will collect the award on the festival's closing day on October 3, Variety reports.
The Hollywood stars have been friends since they were students.
DeVito made his film debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which Douglas produced. The two actors appeared together in Romancing The Stone, The Jewel of the Nile and most recently in Solitary Man, and DeVito directed Douglas in The War Of The Roses.
The Zurich Film Festival, which begins on September 25, will also host Switzerland's first Film Finance Forum next month.
The annual Film Finance Forum has taken place in Los Angeles, New York and at the Cannes Film Festival. It is aimed at potential investors, film industry promoters, producers and worldwide distributors, as well as consultants such as legal experts, insurance agents and investment advisers.