Veteran Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas will be honoured with a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement at next year's Berlin International Film Festival (February 7-18).

Douglas will receive the award on February 16 before a special festival screening of his 1957 film Paths Of Glory in the Berlinale Palast Theatre at Potsdamer Platz.

Commenting on the award, outgoing festival director Moritz de Hadeln said: "Kirk Douglas unmistakably embodies the quintessence of 'the pioneering spirit and typical American individualism'. His characters are marked by a tremendous drive for independence. They are tough and uneven, and at times difficult. Not unlike Kirk Douglas himself when, for instance, he engaged Dalton Trumbo, who was on McCarthy's 'Black List', as screenwriter for Spartacus, and insisted that Trumbo should also be included in the film's opening credits."

As part of the homage to Douglas, the festival has commissioned the Filmmuseum Berlin - Deutsche Kinemathek to organise a retrospective of films, which will be accompanied by an illustrated monograph with essays and a comprehensive filmography.

Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Golden Bear include James Stewart (1982), Sir Alec Guinness (1988), Dustin Hoffman (1989), Gregory Peck (1993), Sophia Loren (1994), Alain Delon (1995), Jack Lemmon (1996), Kim Novak (1997), Catherine Deneuve (1998), Shirley MacLaine (1999) and Jeanne Moreau (2000).