Michael Douglas Early Life
Michael Douglas (Michael Kirk Douglas) was born on September 25, 1944, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to actor Kirk Douglas and his wife, Diana Dill. Douglas grew up with three brothers: Joel, Peter and Eric. As the son of a famed actor, Douglas grew up with a strained relationship with his father, which developed more as he progressed through life. He studied drama at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and the American Place Theatre. Douglas began his Hollywood career as an assistant director on some of father’s 1960s films. After roles in several television dramas, he gained notoriety by co-starring with Karl Malden in the 1970s TV series The Streets of San Francisco (1972-1977). He also directed two episodes of the show.
In 1975, Douglas served as executive producer for Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which went on to win five Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. He got involved in the film after his father, who owned the rights to Ken Kesey’s novel of the same name, couldn’t successfully develop it into a film. Despite the success of the film, it was difficult for Douglas to find work as an actor, having received so much recognition as a producer. In 1979, he starred with Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon in the film The China Syndrome, which he also co-produced.
When the son of Spartacus actor Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill added a second Oscar to the mantelpiece for his role in Oliver Stone’s 1987 masterpiece Wall Street, (his first was won for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, which he produced), Michael Douglas became one of Hollywood’s most bankable leading men.
Michael Douglas Biography and Profile
Michael Douglas (Michael Kirk Douglas), born 25 September 1944, gained fame after starring in the cop show Streets of San Francisco (1972–1977). His film career took off shortly after, with starring roles in The China Syndrome (1979), Romancing the Stone (1984) and Wall Street (1987), for which he won an Academy Award. Later films include Fatal Attraction (1987), Basic Instinct (1992) and Wonder Boys (2000). He earned prominent parts later in his career, starring in films such as the Emmy Award-winning Behind the Candelabra (2013), Last Vegas (2013) and Ant-Man (2015).
Through determination, inventiveness, and charisma, Michael Douglas emerged from the long shadow cast by his movie-legend father, Kirk Douglas, to become his own man and one of the film industry’s most formidable players. Overcoming the curse of failure that haunts the sons and daughters of Hollywood celebrities, Michael became a sensation when he successfully brought One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring his friend Jack Nicholson, to the screen after numerous setbacks, including his father’s own failed attempts to make it happen. This 1975 box-office phenomenon won Michael his first Oscar (the film won five total, including Best Picture), an award Kirk hadn’t won at the time, and solidified the turbulent, competitive father-son relationship that would shape Michael’s career and personal life.
In the decades that followed, Michael established a reputation for taking chances on new talent and projects by producing and starring in the hugely successful Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile movies, while cultivating a multifaceted acting persona—edgy, rebellious, and a little dark—in such films as Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Disclosure.
Michael Douglas Movies
‘Romancing the Stone’
Michael Douglas landed his first leading man role in Romancing the Stone (1984), portraying Jack Colton, an Indiana Jones-type adventurer. This successful teaming of Douglas with Danny DeVito and Kathleen Turner led to a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile (1985). The three worked again in The War of the Roses (1989), a dark comedy about an ugly divorce.
‘Fatal Attraction,’ ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Basic Instinct’
In 1987, Douglas made two films that reflected a much darker side: Fatal Attraction, in which he played an adulterer stalked by an ex-lover — played by Glenn Close — and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, in which he played the corporate raider Gordon Gekko, whose trademark slogan is “Greed is good.” For this role, Douglas won an Academy Award for Best Actor. He continued exploring his dark side years later, co-starring with Sharon Stone in the thriller Basic Instinct in 1992.
‘The American President’
In 1988, Douglas formed a production company, Stonebridge Entertainment, Inc., which produced Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners (1990) and Richard Donner’s Radio Flyer (1992). In 1993, he produced Made in America, then starred as a sexually harassed man in Michael Crichton’s Disclosure (1994), and as the titular commander-in-chief in Rob Reiner’s The American President (1995), co-starring Annette Bening.
‘The Game,’ ‘A Perfect Murder’ and ‘Wonder Boys’
In 1994, he signed a development deal at Paramount that included The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), The Game (1997) and A Perfect Murder (1998). He executive produced The Rainmaker (1997), starring Matt Damon, as well as John Woo’s 1997 action film, Face/Off. Douglas earned critical acclaim for his starring role as a rumpled novelist and English professor in Wonder Boys (2000). In the fall of 2001, Douglas headlined the thriller Don’t Say a Word, co-starring with Brittany Murphy in the film. Two years later, he was featured in It Runs in the Family (2003), alongside his famous father, his mother and his son, Cameron. The film, which fared poorly at the box office, told the story of a multi-generational clan trying to get along.
Following in his father’s footsteps, in 2004, Douglas was honored as the recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award for his “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.”
‘Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps’ and ‘Behind the Candelabra’
In 2010, Douglas announced that he would be reprising his role as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. The film, also starring Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan, was released in the United States that September. Douglas went on to work on the biopic Behind the Candelabra, starring in the film as the famous 1950s and 1960s entertainer Wladziu Liberace. Damon played his love interest in the critically acclaimed 2013 television movie. Douglas won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of the famed entertainer.
‘Last Vegas,’ ‘Ant-Man’
He also filmed the movie Last Vegas (2013) with several Hollywood legends, including Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. The following year, Douglas starred opposite Diane Keaton in And So It Goes and the thriller Beyond the Reach. In 2015, he starred as biochemist Hank Pym in the Marvel superhero action/comedy Ant-Man and reprised his role in the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).
Michael Douglas Personal Life and Challenges
Douglas Junior didn’t always have it so easy. After finding television success with The Streets Of San Francisco in the early Seventies, Michael faced an uphill battle in landing film roles. Enter Kathleen Turner, whose on-screen chemistry meshed with Michael’s in three movies, Romancing The Stone, Jewel Of The Nile, and War Of The Roses, making Mr Douglas a hot big-screen property at last.
At Jimmy Carter’s pre-inaugural party in 1977, Democrat supporter Michael, who is now a UN Messenger Of Peace and campaigns for nuclear reform, met then 19-year-old Georgetown sophomore Diandra Luker. Three months later the couple were married and shortly after Diandra gave birth to the couple’s only child, Cameron.
Despite two separations, rumours of infidelity, and a 1993 stint in rehab, Michael remained married to Diandra until mid-1995, when the two separated. The pair officially divorced in June 2000 amid rumours the Fatal Attraction star had been forced to hand over half of his $100-million-plus fortune as the two had not signed a pre-nup agreement.
Enter Catherine Zeta-Jones. One look at the sultry Welsh actress in her role in The Mask Of Zorro, and Michael was convinced he had to have her. For months they denied they were an item, until photos were published of the two of them canoodling in the swimming pool of Michael’s Majorca hideaway. The two tied the knot in New York on November 18, 2000, after a two-year courtship. The couple have a son, Dylan Michael, who was born in 2000, and a daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas, welcomed in 2003.
After this period of family happiness, 2010 proved to be annus horribilis for the star. His son Cameron was sentenced to five years behind bars after being found guilty of heroin possession and conspiracy to deal large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine.
“I love my son but I’m not blind to his actions,” Michael wrote in a letter to the New York judge. “He is an adult and responsible for his own actions. We do know, however, that genes, family and peer pressure are a strong influence on a substance abuser.”
In fact, it’s understood that the Douglas family’s heartfelt pleas contributed to Cameron’s relatively lenient sentence – the maximum term for his offences being ten years in prison. His stepmother Catherine wrote: “What is wrong is wrong, but may all these positive attitudes prevail”, while Kirk, who was 93 at the time, admitted it was his last wish to see his grandson put his troubles behind him. “I am convinced that Cameron could be a fine actor and a person that cares for others. I hope I can see that happen before I die,” he said.
Four months later came another trauma for Michael. In August, it emerged the actor was battling throat cancer. As he prepared to undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy on a tumor found in his throat, the brave star announced: “I am very optimistic”. His doctors, meanwhile, stated that the prognosis was good and a full recovery was expected.
Michael Douglas Wives
Michael Douglas married Diandra Luker in 1977. They had one son, Cameron, but were separated in 1995 and later divorced.
On November 18, 2000, Douglas married Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, his Traffic co-star. The couple welcomed a son, Dylan Michael Douglas, in August 2000, followed by daughter Carys Zeta Douglas in April 2003. In August 2013, it was revealed that Douglas and Zeta-Jones had separated after more than 12 years of marriage. A spokesperson for the couple told the Huffington Post website that “Catherine and Michael are taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage.” After a brief period apart, they reconciled in 2014. Outside of his busy acting career, Douglas is active in promoting human rights. His work in this area includes serving as a United Nations messenger of peace.
Michael Douglas Children
Cameron Douglas, Carys Zeta Douglas, Dylan Michael Douglas
Michael Kirk Douglas Biography and Profile