Michael Douglas biography

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Michael Douglas biography

Actor, producer, director. 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.

Douglas married Diandra Luker in 1977. They had one son, Cameron, but were separated in 1995 and later divorced. Douglas married the Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on November 18, 2000; the couple have a son, Dylan Michael Douglas, born in August of 2000. In late 2000, they costarred (without sharing a scene) in the Oscar-nominated film Traffic.

Douglas is active in promoting human rights and serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

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