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Inside Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas' love story, from first date to kids

The Mask of Zorro and Basic Instinct stars married in 2000

Catherine Zeta-Jones arm in arm with Michael Douglas at a film premiere
Hannah Watkin
Content Writer
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Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are Hollywood icons, and their relationship is almost as famous as their films.

The A-list couple, who are now neighbors with King Charles, have been together for over 20 years and share two children together. See the lovely Instagram story the Fatal Attraction star put together to celebrate his wife's birthday and their relationship in the video below.

WATCH: Michael Douglas' celebratory photo reel

The Mask of Zorro star actually shares her September 25 birthday with Michael, and that's just one connection that brought the two together. Join HELLO! as we explore their relationship story from the very beginning.

When did Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas meet?

The Wednesday star first made an impression on Michael in 1998 when he saw the Welsh actress in her role as the enigmatic Elena Montero in The Mask of Zorro. He went on to see Catherine at the Deauville Film Festival while he was promoting his own film, A Perfect Murder, and arranged for his publicist to set up a meeting between them.

DISCOVER: Who did Catherine Zeta-Jones date before marrying Michael Douglas?

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas in 1999© Getty Images
Catherine and Michael in 1999

"I met her in the bar and was a total gentleman," Michael told Jonathan Ross during an appearance on his show in 2016. The actor made his move later that night, cheekily telling the actress: "You know, I'm going to be the father of your children."

But Catherine was not immediately impressed with the Basic Instinct actor. According to Michael she replied: "I've heard a lot about you, and I've seen a lot about you, and I think it's time that I say goodnight."

MORE: Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas bid bittersweet 'farewell' following romantic date

Not willing to leave things just yet, Michael arranged for roses to be sent to Catherine on the set of her next film, and the A-list star has admitted she still has the card which he sent with them. Speaking to Access Hollywood in 2019, she joked about their first meeting and Michael's confident comments: "You know what the worst thing is?... He was right."

Their marriage

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The Entrapment actress and Ant-Man actor were married in November 2000 during a lavish ceremony held at the New York Plaza Hotel. Celebrity guests seen at the nuptials included Goldie Hawn, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg and Anthony Hopkins.

Catherine wore a gorgeous Christian Lacroix beaded ivory gown for the wedding and also had a dress made by royal designer David Emanuel for the occasion.

READ: Catherine Zeta-Jones thrills fans with gorgeous mini-dress – see photo

The happy couple had got engaged almost a year earlier during a New Year's Eve trip to Michael's home in Aspen, Colorado in 1999. In August 2000, the pair welcomed their first child, Dylan Michael, and the three-month- old was present for their wedding that November.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas with their son Dylan© Getty Images
Catherine and Michael with Dylan in 2023

When asked in a 2021 interview with WSJ Magazine about the secret behind their 20-year-strong marriage, the Welsh actress explained their relationship had lasted because they still have lots of fun together.

SEE: Catherine Zeta-Jones cradles baby son in adorable photos – fans go wild

She shared that "constant love and respect" and maintaining a "sense of humor" are key to marital success.

Are they still together?

Yes, after almost 23 years of marriage and 25 years as a couple, the Hollywood pair are still together, and often share fun insights into their family life on social media.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas at a premiere in 2023© Getty Images
The couple together in 2023

However, the couple did split for a little while between 2013 and 2014. Announcing in 2013 that they were taking a break from being together, they released a statement saying they wanted some time to "evaluate and work on their marriage". Speaking to Event magazine in 2015, Michael admitted: "We had a little bump in the road."

MORE: Catherine Zeta-Jones explains the secret to her marriage to Michael Douglas

He continued: "The problem in this business is that everything is so public. I love Catherine as much, more than I ever have. And hopefully the feeling’s mutual. We worked things out – if both people want to work something out and make it better, you can do it," he said. "You can’t do it if it’s just one person."

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas kiss© Getty Images
Despite a short term split in 2013 the couple are closer than ever today

Meanwhile, Catherine told The Telegraph in 2022: "It's impossible for there not to be ups and downs if you live with the same person and wake up with them every day. I've been waking up to Mike for nearly 25 years. I love being married but it’s a crazy thing when you really think about it," she continued light-heartedly.

DISCOVER: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones' new photo sparks huge reaction from fans

Comments on their age difference

Both Michael and Catherine have embraced their relationship despite the fact there is 25 years between them. Speaking with WSJ Magazine in 2021, she addressed their age difference head-on, saying: "My husband is 25 years older than me; that's not a secret…. The constant is love and respect." 

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 1990
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 1990

Catherine commented on the couple's age gap during her 2022 interview in The Telegraph, explaining: "We're just very good with one another, we respect each other, and I never really feel that he's 25 years older than me. I remember people saying, 'When you're 50, he's going to be 75.' Well, that’s just maths."

SEE: Michael Douglas caught off guard in unexpected beach selfie with Catherine Zeta-Jones

When she appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers in December that same year, the Mask of Zorro actress again light-heartedly referenced their age difference while commenting on the fact that they shared the same birthday. "25 September is our same birthday," she said, but then quickly added humorously: "25 years difference. Not the same day."

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones attend the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco © Arnold Jerocki
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones attend the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco in 2023

Michael made reference to the pair's 25-year age gap in while appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2019. He suggested having a younger bride and children helped keep him young, as did being able to spend time with his then-102-year-old father Kirk Douglas (who passed away aged 103 in February 2020). "Having a younger bride makes me feel good on one side and I've got the old man over here on the other side," he explained. 

Their two children Dylan and Carys

Catherine and Michael share two children, Dylan, 22, and Carys, 20. Michael also has one son, Cameron, from his former marriage to Diandra Lucker.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones with their children Carys and Dylan Douglas© Instagram
The Hollywood couple are proud parents to Dylan and Carys

Dylan graduated from Brown University in 2022, meanwhile, Carys is exploring a career in modelling and has appeared in several magazines alongside her mother. Both Dylan and Carys are spitting images of their famous parents, and are also interested in pursuing acting careers.

MORE: Catherine Zeta-Jones dazzles in bold gown alongside rarely-seen son

In her interview with The Telegraph, Catherine said that despite the fact that she would encourage her children to pursue other careers, "there’s no way I want to dissuade them [from acting] because acting has been the most amazing thing in my life".

Catherine shared the sweetest photo of her mother Patricia with Carys and Dylan Douglas to mark Mother's Day© Instagram
Carys and Dylan Douglas with their mom and grandmother in a photo Catherine shared for Mother's Day

Now empty-nesters in their amazing $4.7 million New York-based home, the couple still spend a lot of time with their children. Dylan recently joined his mom at the LA premiere for Wednesday, where the star gushed about her supportive grown up children to People magazine.

"Both my daughter and Dylan have been so incredibly supportive to me, not just as an actor, but just me, you know," she said. "I've been extremely blessed to be able to have both in my life."

Who did Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas date before they married?

As previously mentioned, prior to his marriage to Catherine, Michael was married once before to Diandra Luker. They were together from 1978 to 1995, when they divorced, and had one son, Cameron, together. 

Michael and Cameron smiling with their arms around each other at a red carpet event© Getty Images
Michael with his and Diandra's son Cameron in 2018

After their divorce the pair split the property in which they used to live together between them for six months at a time. In 2021, Michael revealed that he didn't enjoy this strained arrangement. "It was very uncomfortable sharing the property with my ex-wife Diandra," he told Majorcan newspaper Ultima Hora. "Six months for each of us wasn't very pleasant for anyone. Catherine is very happy here, especially now that we don't share with Diandra. She feels much more comfortable."

MORE: Who did Catherine Zeta-Jones date before marrying Michael Douglas?

The Darling Buds of May actress was never married prior to her relationship with Michael, however she had been engaged once before to the Scottish actor Angus Macfadyen. However, after 15 months together from 1994 to 1996, the pair split before their ever tied the knot.

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