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Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. Douglas's first television exposure was that of Karl Malden's young college-educated partner, Insp. Steve Keller, in the 1970s crime drama, The Streets of San Francisco, a role he played from 1972 to 1976. Douglas is an Emmy Award-, Golden Globe Award- and two-time Academy Award-winner, first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2009.

Early life

Douglas was born in New Brunswick, New Jerseymarker, the son of American actor Kirk Douglas and Bermudian actress Diana Dill. His paternal grandparents, Bryna Sanglel and Herschel Danielovitch, were Jewish immigrants from Gomelmarker in Belarusmarker (at that time a part of the Russian Empiremarker), while his mother and maternal grandparents, Ruth Rapalje Neilson and Lt. Col. Thomas Melville Dill, were natives of Devonshire Parish, Bermudamarker. His maternal grandfather served as the Attorney General of Bermudamarker and was a commanding officer of the Bermuda Militia Artillery. Douglas attended the Allen-Stevenson Schoolmarker and then graduated ('60) from Eaglebrook School middle school in Deerfield, Massachusettsmarker before going on to The Choate School, (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticutmarker. Douglas graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbaramarker in 1968 with a B.A. in dramatic arts where he is also the Honorary President of the UCSB Alumni Association.

He has one younger brother named Joel (b. 1947) and two younger paternal half-brothers, Peter (b. 1955) and Eric (1958-2004).


Douglas co-starred in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco from 1972 to 1976, where Douglas had on- and off-screen chemistry with Karl Malden, who became a second father to him, during the show's run. After he left the show, he had a long association with his mentor, prior to keeping him in touch, and attending interview to discuss about Douglas's relationship with him, until Malden's death on July 1, 2009. Long before Malden's death, Malden & Douglas would occasionally run into each other—in 1996, Malden paid tribute to him at the People's Choice Awards. In 2004, Douglas presented Malden with the Monte Cristo Award of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticutmarker, for the Lifetime Achievement Award. He received an Academy Award as producer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975. Although Douglas was a capable actor on Streets, his career was somewhat stagnant after the series, and he only appeared in occasional movies which were usually less than popular (e.g., Running in 1979). One exception was The China Syndrome (1979), a dramatic film co-starring Jane Fonda about a disaster at a nuclear power plant. It mirrored the real-life Three Mile Island accidentmarker which took place 12 days after the film's release.

His fortunes changed when he starred in the 1984 romantic adventure comedy Romancing the Stone. The film was followed a year later in 1985 by a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. 1987 was a pivotal year for Douglas, one that won him massive attention as a serious actor. He starred in the thriller Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close and the film became a world-wide hit. That same year he played the insidious tycoon Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. Douglas received an Academy Award as Best Actor for this role. It was announced in April 2009 that Douglas would be reprising his role as Gekko in Wall Street 2 with the original film's director Oliver Stone.

Douglas also starred as Mr. Rose, a successful lawyer similar to Gordon Gekko's personality, in The War of the Roses, which featured previous co-stars Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In 1989 he starred in the hit international police crime drama Black Rain opposite Andy Garcia and Kate Capshaw and was directed by filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator).

In 1992, Douglas revived his slick, worldly character when he appeared alongside Sharon Stone in the film Basic Instinct. The movie was a huge hit, and sparked controversy over its depictions of bisexuality and lesbianism. Then in 1994, Douglas and Demi Moore starred in the hit movie Disclosure focusing on the hot topic of sexual harassment, but with a twist—Douglas plays a man harassed by his new female boss. In 1998, Douglas received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Douglas's skill at character acting continued to make him one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood and commands a hefty sum for his roles. After the commercial failure of It Runs in the Family, Douglas did not star in a movie for three years, until The Sentinel in 2006. A year prior to the release of It Runs in the Family, he guest-appeared on an episode of the popular television sitcom Will and Grace, as a gay cop attracted to Will Truman (Eric McCormack); the performance earned Douglas an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Show. His Fatal Attraction co-star, Glenn Close, appeared in the following episode of the series and also earned an Emmy nomination for her performance.

Douglas on being asked to do Basic Instinct 2: "Yes, they asked me to do it a while ago, I thought we had done it very effectively; (Paul) Verhoeven is a pretty good director. I haven't seen the sequel. I've only done one sequel in my life, The Jewel of the Nile, from Romancing The Stone. Besides, there were age issues, you know? Sharon still looks fabulous. The script was pretty good. Good for her, she's in her late-40s and there are not a lot of parts around. The first one was probably the best picture of her career—it certainly made her career and she was great in it".

Douglas will soon star in Tragic Indifference, a courtroom thriller based on a landmark liability case against Ford, according to Variety. Douglas will play the attorney who took Ford to court on behalf of a single mother from Texas who was paralyzed and nearly died after an accident. The trial exposed the automaker's indifference to flaws in its SUVs. The movie will be based on Adam Penenberg's 2003 book of the same name. Douglas will play Attorney Tab Turner, who represented Donna Bailey after the Ford Explorer she was riding in rolled over following a Firestone tire failure.

On December 17, 2007 it was announced that Douglas was to be a new announcer on NBC Nightly News, some two years after Howard Reig, the previous announcer, retired.

Personal life

Douglas married Diandra Luker on March 20, 1977. They had one son, Cameron (born December 13, 1978). In 1980, Douglas was involved in a serious skiing accident which sidelined his acting career for three years. In September 1992, he underwent treatment for alcoholism at Sierra Tucson Center. In 2000, after 23 years of marriage, Diandra divorced Douglas.

Douglas married Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on November 18, 2000; they were both born on September 25, though 25 years apart. Zeta-Jones says that when they met in Deauvillemarker, Douglas used the line "I want to father your children". They have two children, Dylan Michael (born August 8, 2000) and Carys Zeta (born April 20, 2003).

Douglas and Zeta-Jones hosted the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norwaymarker on December 11, 2003. They acted as co-masters of ceremony in the concert celebrating the award given to Shirin Ebadi. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from the University of St. Andrewsmarker. Douglas and his family divide their time among their homes in: Pacific Palisades, Californiamarker; New York City; Aspen, Coloradomarker; Bermudamarker; Majorcamarker, Spain; Swanseamarker, Wales, Ridgewood, New Jerseymarker, and La Conception, Quebecmarker.

Douglas is an advocate of nuclear disarmament, is a supporter of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and sits on the Board of Directors of the Ploughshares Fund. In 1994 Douglas appeared in a documentary film opposing handgun ownership Handguns Aren't the Answer produced by Jann Wenner and director/cinematographer Neal Marshad. In 1998 he was appointed UN Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is a notable Democrat and has donated money to Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd and Al Franken.

In 1997, New York caddy James Parker, sued Douglas for USD$25 million. Parker accused Douglas of hitting him in the groin with an errant golf ball, causing Parker to lose a testicle and his job. The case was later settled out of court.

Humanitarian initiatives

In 2009 joined the project "Soldiers of Peace", a movie against all wars and for a global peace.

Family tree


Year Film Role Notes
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Jeep driver
1969 Hail, Hero! Carl Dixon
1970 Adam at Six A.M. Adam Gaines
1971 Summertree Jerry
1972 Napoleon and Samantha Danny
1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest producer

Academy Award for Best Picture

BAFTA Award for Best Film

Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama
1978 Coma Dr. Mark Bellows
1979 Running Michael Andropolis Nominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
The China Syndrome Richard Adams (actor/producer)
1980 It's My Turn Ben Lewin
1983 The Star Chamber Superior Court Judge Steven R. Hardin
1984 Romancing the Stone Jack Colton (actor/producer)
1985 A Chorus Line Zach
The Jewel of the Nile Jack Colton (actor/producer)
1987 Wall Street Gordon Gekko Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor

National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Fatal Attraction Dan Gallagher Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1989 The War of the Roses Oliver Rose Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Black Rain Det. Sgt. Nick Conklin
1992 Basic Instinct Nick Curran
Shining Through Ed Leland
Oliver Stone: Inside Out Himself (documentary)
1993 Falling Down William "D-Fens" Foster
1994 Disclosure Tom Sanders
1995 The American President President Andrew Shepherd Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness Charles Remington (actor/executive producer)
1997 The Game Nicholas van Orton
1998 A Perfect Murder Steven Taylor
1999 One Day in September Narrator (documentary)
Get Bruce Himself (documentary)
2000 Traffic Robert Wakefield Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominated — Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor (also for Wonder Boys)
Wonder Boys Professor Grady Tripp Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor

Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

SEFCA Award for Best Actor

Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

Nominated — LVFCS Award for Best Actor (also for Traffic)

Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
2001 Don't Say a Word Dr. Nathan R. Conrad
In Search of Peace Narrator (documentary)
One Night at McCool's Mr. Burmeister (actor/producer)
2003 The In-Laws Steve Tobias
It Runs in the Family Alex Gromberg
Direct Order Narrator (documentary)
2004 The Beautiful Country Man on TV Footage from Wall Street
Tell Them Who You Are Himself (documentary)
2006 You, Me and Dupree Mr. Thompson
The Sentinel Pete Garrison (actor/producer)
2007 King of California Charlie
2009 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Uncle Wayne
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Mark Hunter awaiting full release
Solitary Man Ben awaiting release
2010 Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps Gordon Gekko filming
2010 Liberace Wladziu Valentino Liberace pre-production


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