Michael Douglas: Things All Fans Should Know


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Michael Douglas is a prominent American actor who has had a distinguished career as an actor and producer. He has also won two Oscar Awards in his career. Born into an acting family, Michael Douglas continued the tradition by marrying Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Here Are Some Interesting Tidbits About Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas was born into an acting family

The parents of Michael Douglas

On September 25, 1944, Michael Douglas was born into the acting family of Diana and Kirk Douglas. They named him Michael Kirk Douglas. On his father’s side, there were Jews and immigrants from Belarus, and on his mother’s side, there were Scots, Welsh, French, Irish, Belgians and Dutch.

Michael Douglas’ father played Spartacus

Kirk Douglas as Spartacus

Michael Douglas’s father at that time was just starting his career in Hollywood and soon played Spartacus in Stanley Kubrick’s film of the same name. Later he became one of the famous performers of the golden era of the “dream factory”. Michael Douglas’ mother acted on television.

Michael Douglas used to get sick on stage initially

In an interview, Michael admitted that he was destined to follow in their footsteps as the son of two actors. During his school years, he participated in theatrical productions, although he was afraid of the stage, to the point that he began to feel sick and tried to keep a bucket nearby.

Michael Douglas grew up with a stepfather

Douglas’s childhood was not easy. The father soon left the family, marrying Anne Buydens, from whom sons Eric and Peter were born. Mom was also able to find personal happiness, and Michael and his younger brother Joel had a stepfather, Bill. In an interview, the artist admitted that he was a good person and was the first who simply sat down and listened to him.

Michael Douglas had a troubled childhood

The future actor showed his irrepressible temperament from childhood. At the age of 14, Douglas was expelled from school because he was busy chasing girls instead of studying. And the teenager’s behavior was not diligent. He was a typical representative of the creative youth of that time: he either joined the hippies or wandered through the streets and bars. To pacify Michael, his parents sent him to military school.

Michael Douglas chose against joining Yale University

Michael Douglas (left) with Danny DeVito

Despite his parents’ divorce, Douglas continued to keep in touch with his father and firmly decided that he would follow in his footsteps and become an artist. For the sake of his dream, he refused to enter Yale University and chose the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at the University of California. There Michael met Danny DeVito, and a friendship began between them, which turned into fruitful cooperation later.

Michael Douglas was forced to work odd jobs early on

Kirk Douglas believed that his son should begin actively acting in films no earlier than 25 years old, and before that time he needed to strengthen his character in the fight for a place in show business. And so it happened: in his youth, Michael had to serve coffee in a movie theater, work as an assistant director, and as an assembly assistant.

Michael Douglas’ debut was uncredited

Douglas’s career began with episodic roles. The debut project was released in 1966 and was called “Cast a Giant Shadow,” but the artist’s name was not even included in the credits. Michael managed to attract the attention of the public three years later when he appeared in the film “Hail, Hero!” For this, the performer was awarded a Golden Globe nomination as the Most Promising Newcomer.

Michael Douglas’s TV breakthrough happened in 1972

Later, the aspiring performer’s filmography was replenished with projects like “Adam at Six O’Clock in the Morning” and “Medical Center,” where he also played small roles. Douglas’s television breakthrough came in 1972. He appeared as Inspector Stone in the TV series “Streets of San Francisco.” The artist played with his father’s friend Karl Malden. He called Michael “the son he never had” and insisted on his participation in the filming of the project.

Michael Douglas produced One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Three years later, the actor produced the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He acquired the rights to film the project from his father, who staged a play based on the famous work of Ken Kesey, which was not crowned with success. The actor was inspired by the idea of ​​a novel, but the film’s budget limited his possibilities.

Douglas saved on everything, so he invited the unpromoted performer Jack Nicholson to the project, although at first, his father was in contention for the main role. But at that time he was already about 60 years old, and Michael had to go through a difficult conversation to convince Kirk of the correct choice of actor.

The filming location was a real hospital for the mentally ill. The premiere of the film exceeded the creators’ expectations. Its budget paid off 20 times, but the main surprise awaited the producer six months later when the film was submitted to the Oscars in nine categories, winning in five of them.

Michael Douglas continued working as a producer

The ambitious Douglas realized that he was successful in producing, so he soon presented the public with a new film, “The China Syndrome,” in which he played a prominent role. This project was also received favorably by critics and was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Michael Douglas had a serious ski accident

In 1980, the actor was seriously injured at a ski resort and was out of action for three years. During this time, the audience forgot him, but the filmmaker had a keen sense of the mood and tastes of society and knew what to offer film lovers.

Michael Douglas has a history of marrying younger women

In 1971, Michael fell in love with actress Brenda Vaccaro, whom he met on the set of the film Summertree. Their relationship lasted almost six years. Douglas later described the marriage as one filled with freedom and love. But one day the chosen one simply got into the car and drove away from him.

Diandra Luker

Kirk Douglas (left) celebrating Michael Douglas (centre) and Diandra Luker’s wedding

The first wedding in Michael’s personal life – with Diandra Luker, who was 14 years younger than him – took place in the spring of 1977. The bride was the daughter of an Austrian diplomat and had nothing to do with the film industry. A year later, the couple had a son, Cameron. The marriage lasted 23 years; the couple divorced in 2000. The divorce proceedings lasted almost two years – Douglas paid his ex-wife $45 million in compensation.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones on their wedding day

After breaking up with Diandra, the actor had short relationships, until he met Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones at the premiere of the film “The Mask of Zorro”. Michael fell in love with her immediately and sought her favor in every possible way. The artist accepted the star’s courtship, despite the age difference of 25 years. In December 1999, the couple announced their engagement, and in November 2000 they legalized their relationship. Catherine gave birth to two children for Michael – son Dylan Michael and daughter Carys Zeta.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have reconciled after a brief estrangement

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones after reconciling

In 2010, doctors diagnosed Douglas with laryngeal cancer. He was treated for almost a year and, as he told the press, overcame the disease. But the wife could not stand the test – she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. These events almost put an end to Michael and Catherine’s life together.

Since the spring of 2013, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas were not seen in public together. In August of the same year, the actor announced that he was going to file for divorce due to his wife’s “global depression.” But three months later the couple reconciled.


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