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Michael Douglas, 79, recalls painful moment of being an older father to his three children

Michael is father to Dylan, 23, Carys, 21, and Cameron, 45

Faye James
Senior Editor
22 April 2024
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In a candid interview, Michael Douglas shared touching and sometimes humorous insights into the realities of parenting later in life, his family's milestones, and the occasional mix-ups that come with being an older father.

During a visit to his children’s college, Michael experienced a moment that mixed embarrassment with a touch of humor. 

Mistaken for a grandfather rather than a father, he recounted the interaction with lighthearted grace. “‘This is not grandfather’s day, this is parents’ day.’ I say ‘I am a parent!’” Michael recalled to The Telegraph.

 It wasn't the first time he faced such assumptions; a similar incident occurred at his daughter Carys' high school graduation. “I’m not gonna take it personal. They’re just trying to be nice,” he remarked, proving his evergreen sense of humor remains intact.

Michael and Kirk Douglas at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2012© Getty
Michael revealed he often gets mistaken for their grandfather, the late Kirk Douglas

Married nearly 24 years to Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael is father to Dylan, 23, Carys, 21, and Cameron, 45, from his previous marriage to Diandra Luker. 

Michael openly discussed the challenges and regrets regarding his time away from Cameron during his early career days due to the demanding nature of his profession. 

Michael Douglas opens up about his appearance change

“Cameron suffered a lot from that time... I was just overwhelmed and overloaded by my work. And family was really taking third place,” he admitted, reflecting on the difficult balance between personal and professional life.

Despite the challenges, Michael expressed deep gratitude for the joys of fatherhood, particularly praising his younger children's positive upbringing, which he credits largely to Catherine. 

Michael is married to Catherine Zeta Jones© Rich Fury
(L-R) Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones

“They’ve just been a joy. We’ve had no issues per se. Had a lovely, lovely life together," he shared. The couple recently transitioned to being "empty nesters," with Carys nearing college graduation and Dylan having already completed his education at Brown University in 2022.

The family marked a significant milestone as Carys turned 21 on April 20. Michael and Catherine took to Instagram to celebrate their daughter's birthday with heartfelt messages. 

Cameron Douglas (left) and Michael Douglas © Doug Peters - PA Images
Cameron Douglas (left) and Michael Douglas

Michael posted a charming photo of the duo on the red carpet, captioning it, “Happy 21 my darling Carys! You bring me and the world such happiness.” 

Catherine's tribute included a series of photos from Carys' early years, expressing her deep affection: “You are the joy of my life. 21 years of watching you blossom into the most incredible woman you are today is a God-given gift that I never take for granted and cherish every day of my life,” she wrote.

Catherine and Carys are incredibly close and share a "really special" bond, according to the 21-year-old, who views her mom not only as a "fashion icon" but as the "funniest person" she knows.

In 2021, the duo spoke to HELLO! about their relationship, with Catherine telling us: "We are very close – we talk about everything." 

catherine zeta jones carys douglas michael douglas 2018© Getty Images
(L-R) Catherine Zeta-Jones, Carys Zeta Douglas and Michael Douglas

"It's really special – I am lucky," chimed in Carys. "We are open and honest with each other. She has taught me all the ins and outs of life but also to have fun and to cherish every moment."

She added: "Our sense of humor is pretty similar, so we are always laughing when we are together. My mother is, honestly, the funniest person I know." 

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