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Michael Douglas - Biography

Everything to know Hollywood A-lister Michael Douglas 

Michael Douglas attends the opening ceremony gala dinner at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Carlton Hotel on May 16, 2023 in Cannes, France
Updated: 25 July 2023
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When the son of Spartacus actor Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill added a second Oscar to the mantelpiece for his role in Oliver Stone's 1987 masterpiece Wall Street, (his first was won for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which he produced), he became one of Hollywood's most bankable leading men. A household name, Michael is one of Hollywood's most brilliant actors - but how much do you know about the star? Get the details... 

Michael Douglas' early career and first marriage

But Michael didn't always have it so easy. After finding television success with The Streets Of San Francisco in the early Seventies, Michael faced an uphill battle in landing film roles. Enter Kathleen Turner, whose on-screen chemistry meshed with Michael's in three movies, Romancing The Stone, Jewel Of The Nile, and War Of The Roses, making Mr Douglas a hot big-screen property at last.

Catherine Zeta-Jones arm in arm with Michael Douglas at a film premiere© Getty Images
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas attend the "Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania" UK Gala Screening at BFI IMAX Waterloo on February 16, 2023

At Jimmy Carter's pre-inaugural party in 1977, Democrat supporter Michael, who is now a UN Messenger Of Peace and campaigns for nuclear reform, met then-19-year-old Georgetown sophomore Diandra Luker. Three months later the couple were married and shortly after Diandra gave birth to the couple's only child, Cameron. Despite two separations, rumours of infidelity, and a 1993 stint in rehab, Michael remained married to Diandra until mid-1995, when the two separated. 

michael douglas diandra luker
Michael with his first wife Diandra Luker

The pair officially divorced in June 2000 amid rumours the Fatal Attraction star had been forced to hand over half of his $100-million-plus fortune as the two had not signed a pre-nup agreement.

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Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones' relationship

Michael and Catherine initially denied that they were an item, until photos were published of the two of them canoodling in the swimming pool of Michael's Majorca hideaway. The two tied the knot in New York on November 18, 2000, after a two-year courtship. The couple have a son, Dylan Michael, who was born in 2000, and a daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas, welcomed in 2003. The pair made headlines are reportedly living separately in 2013, with Catherine's rep confirming that they were "taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage". However, the pair reconciled and moved back in together later in the same year. 

Michael Douglas is a doting dad to his children© Clive Mason
Michael Douglas is a doting dad to his children

Michael Douglas' son Cameron's drug charges and prison stay

In 2010, Michael's son Cameron was sentenced to five years behind bars after being found guilty of heroin possession and conspiracy to deal large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. "I love my son but I'm not blind to his actions," Michael wrote in a letter to the New York judge. "He is an adult and responsible for his own actions. We do know, however, that genes, family and peer pressure are a strong influence on a substance abuser."

cameron douglas family© Instagram
Cameron and his partner Viviane share two children

His stepmother Catherine wrote: "What is wrong is wrong, but may all these positive attitudes prevail", while Kirk, who was 93 at the time, admitted it was his last wish to see his grandson put his troubles behind him. "I am convinced that Cameron could be a fine actor and a person that cares for others. I hope I can see that happen before I die," he said.

In 2011, Cameron's prison sentence was extended after he pleaded guilty to possessing drugs in prison. He was also injured during his incarceration when his leg was broken by another inmate. He was released early in 2016, and lived in a halfway house after serving a seven-year sentence. In 2019, he released an autobiography, Long Way Home, about his experiences with drug abuse. Michael is now also a grandfather, as Cameron has welcomed two children, a six-year-old daughter and son, three, with his girlfriend, Viviane Thibes.

Michael Douglas' health

Shortly after Cameron's initial prison sentence, it emerged the actor was battling tongue cancer, although he originally claimed it was throat cancer on the advise of his doctor. As he prepared to undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy on a tumour, the brave star announced: "I am very optimistic". His doctors, meanwhile, stated that the prognosis was good and a full recovery was expected. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, Michael is now cancer free, and regularly undergoes remission check-ups. 

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones BAFTA
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones

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