Michael Douglas Biography (1944-)

Michael-Douglas, , . Born Michael Kirk Douglas, on September 25, 1944, to actor Kirk Douglas and mother Diana Dill. He is the brother of Joel, Peter, and Eric.

Douglas studied drama at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the American Place Theatre. He began his Hollywood career as an assistant director on some of father Kirk Douglas’ 1960s films. After roles in several TV dramas, he gained notoriety by costarring with Karl Malden in the 1970s television series The Streets of San Francisco (ABC, 1972-77). He also directed two episodes of the show. In 1975, Douglas was executive producer for Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. In 1979 he coproduced and starred with Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome.

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 black comedy about an ugly divorce.

He made two films in 1987 which reflected a much darker side: Fatal Attraction, in which he played an adulterer stalked by an ex-lover (played by Glenn Close); and costarred in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street as the corporate raider Gordon Gekko, whose trademark slogan is “Greed is good.” Douglas won a Best Actor Academy Award for this role. In 1992 he continued exploring his dark side by costarring with Sharon Stone in the thriller Basic Instinct.

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 Chief Executive Officer in Rob Reiner’s The American President (1995), costarring Annette Bening.

He signed a development deal at Paramount in 1994, which included The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), The Game (1997) and A Perfect Murder (1998). He executive-produced The Rainmaker (1997) starring Matt Damon, and John Woo’s action film Face/Off (1997). 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. In 2003, Douglas starred in It Runs in the Family alongside his dad Kirk, his mom Diana and his son Cameron. The film, which faired poorly at the box office, told the story of a multi-generation clan trying to get along. The following year, Douglas followed in his father’s footsteps as the recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award for his “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.”

Douglas is active in promoting human rights and serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. He married Diandra Luker in 1977. They had one son, Cameron, but were separated in 1995 and later divorced. Douglas married Welsh actress and Traffic costar Catherine Zeta-Jones on November 18, 2000; the couple has a son, Dylan , born in August 2000, and a daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas, born in April 2003. In July 2004, Douglas’ brother Eric was found dead inside a Manhattan apartment building; the cause of death is uknown.

A spokesperson for actor Michael Douglas revealed on Monday that the star has a tumor in his throat. The 65-year-old actor will receive eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery.

There has not yet been word as to whether the tumor is benign or malignant, but Douglas says he is “very optimistic” about the outcome of his treatment.

Douglas, an Oscar-winning actor, can be seen on-screen in the upcoming film Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, which will hit theaters on September 24.

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