An American actor known for his dynamic performances, Michael Kirk Douglas, born on September 25, 1944, is also a renowned producer. Read on to know more about his life…
A winner of two Academy Awards, one as a producer and one as an actor, Michael Douglas also has formidable experience in the world of television. He has also won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Many of his movies have been box office hits and garnered a cult following the world over.
The son of superstar Kirk Douglas and actress Diana Dill, Michael was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was raised by his mother Diana, as his parents were divorced when he was young. Michael studied at the Allen-Stevenson School and later graduated from Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Although his father Kirk wasn’t too happy about Michael’s plans to take up acting as a career, eventually he accepted his son’s decision.
Although Michael could have opted for studying at the prestigious Yale University, he chose to complete his graduation in Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1968. The TV series The Streets Of San Francisco, which ran from 1972 to 1976, gave Michael a chance to display his acting prowess. He shared screen space with veteran actor Karl Malden, who was a father figure to him. After the phenomenal success of this TV series, he produced a movie called One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which showcased Jack Nicholson’s talent as an actor. This masterpiece won five Oscars, including Best Picture. After the success of this movie, he made several appearances in movies, which failed to attract audiences. Although his acting career stagnated for a brief period, he believed in his own potential and continued to work hard.
Although his success as an actor had dwindled over the years, the 1984 blockbuster Romancing The Stone, in which he starred opposite Kathleen Turner, changed his fortune. The on-screen chemistry between the two was widely appreciated by audiences the world over. The phenomenal success of this movie led to the making of its sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, which was also a box office hit. The movie Fatal Attraction, a thriller which came out in 1987, cemented his place as one of the leading actors in Hollywood. In the same year, his performance in the movie Wall Street won him an Oscar in the Best Actor category.
He teamed up with his former co-star Kathleen Turner for the movie The War of the Roses. This dark comedy was well-received by fans of this on-screen couple. He got a chance to work with the critically acclaimed director Ridley Scott in the movie Black Rain, a crime thriller. In 1992, he was paired opposite the sensuous Sharon Stone in the hugely successful Basic Instinct. In 1994, he played the role of a man being sexually harassed by his female boss in the movie Disclosure, which also starred Demi Moore. His diverse roles made him one of the most popular actors among directors.
Michael Douglas tied the knot with Diandra Luker on March 20, 1977, and was married to her for 23 years. They had a son, Cameron, from their marriage. Soon after his divorce in 2000, he fell in love with actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is 25 years younger than him. They tied the knot on November 18, 2000. They have two children, Dylan Michael and Carys Zeta.
Douglas is actively involved with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and is also in the Board of Directors of the Ploughshares Fund. He has a keen interest in politics, and supports the principles of the Democratic Party.