September 25, 1944
Born in: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Education: Graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara
Career: Hollywood actor and producer
Michael Douglas is a well-known Hollywood actor, who has also been producing movies since a long time. He is seen acting in and producing not only movies, but being involved in television as well. Till date, he has won one Emmy Award, apart from Academy Award for Best Picture (as a producer) and Academy Award for Best Actor. In December 2007, he became the new voice of NBC Nightly News. Douglas has been married to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta Jones, since 2000. He has one son from his previous marriage (with Diandra Luker) and one son and one daughter from his present marriage.
Michael Douglas was born as ‘Michael Kirk Douglas’ on 25th September 1944, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is the son of the famous American actor, Kirk Douglas, and Bermudian actress, Diana Dill. His paternal grandparents, Bryna Sanglel and Herschel Danielovitch, were Jewish immigrants from Russia. His mother and maternal grandparents, Ruth Rapalje Neilson and Lt. Col. Thomas Melville Dill, were natives of Devonshire Parish, Bermuda.
Michael’s maternal grandfather served as the Attorney General of Bermuda and was a commanding officer of the Bermuda Militia Artillery. Douglas spent his early years in Massachusetts, where he graduated from Eaglebrook School, in Deerfield. Thereafter, he attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. For graduation, he went to University of California (Santa Barbara) and completed a B.A. in dramatic arts. Presently, Michael is the Honorary President of the UCSB Alumni Association.
The acting career of Michael Douglas started with ‘Cast a Giant Shadow’ (1966), an MGM movie in which he played a minor role. His first major movie, in which he played the lead role, was ‘Hail, Hero!’ (1969). His TV series ‘The Streets of San Francisco’, which ran from 1972 to 1976, got him large-scale recognition. The actor turned a producer with ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest’ (1975), which also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Over the next few years, he did not appear in any major hit, though he continued to be seen on-screen.
It was in the year 1984 that Douglas once again tasted success, this time with the romantic adventure comedy, ‘Romancing the Stone’. The next year, he starred in the movie’s sequel, ‘The Jewel of the Nile’. In 1987, Douglas was seen in ‘Fatal Attraction’, which became a hit the world over. The same year, he did ‘Wall Street’, which won him an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1989, he came out with two movies, ‘The War of the Roses’ and ‘Black Rain’, the latter one being a major hit.
The next major movie of Michael Douglas was ‘Basic Instinct’, with Sharon Stone, which was released in 1992. Apart from being a major blockbuster, the movie also sparked a controversy over its portray of bisexuality and lesbianism. In 1994, he starred in another hit movie, ‘Disclosure’, centering on the issue of sexual harassment in office. In 1998, Douglas became the recipient of the ‘Crystal Globe Award’, for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Throughout the next couple of years, Michael continued to be one of the most sought-after Hollywood actors. He also did a guest appearance in the sitcom ‘Will and Grace’ and won an Emmy Award nomination for ‘Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Show’ for the same. ‘It Runs in the Family’, a movie that came out in 2003, was a major failure. After its release, Douglas took a sabbatical from films for the next three years. He came back in 2006, with ‘The Sentinel’ and starred in ‘King of California’, the next year.
Michael Douglas married Diandra Luker in 1977 and was blessed with a son, Cameron, in 1978. However, the marriage could not last throughout his life and came to end, with a divorce, in the year 2000. The same year, Douglas married Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. From his second marriage he has a son, Dylan Michael Douglas, and a daughter, Carys Zeta Douglas. In 1998, he was appointed as ‘UN Messenger of Peace’ by Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
In 2006, Douglas was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) by the University of St. Andrews. He is an advocate of nuclear disarmament and a supporter of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Douglas also sits on the Board of Directors of the Ploughshares Fund. He is also a very notable Democrat and has donated money mainly to Democratic candidates. Presently, Douglas is backing Hillary Clinton for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election.
- 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)
- 1978 - Coma (Dr. Mark Bellows)
- 1979 - Running (Michael Andropolis)
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)
Fatal Attraction (Dan Gallagher)
- 1989 - The War of the Roses (Oliver Rose)
Black Rain (Det. Sgt. Nick Conklin)
- 1992 - Basic Instinct (Nick Curran)
Shining Through (Ed Leland)
Oliver Stone: Inside Out (Michael Douglas) (documentary)
- 1993 - Falling Down (William "D-Fens" Foster)
- 1994 - Disclosure (Tom Sanders)
- 1995 - The American President (President Andrew Shepherd)
- 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 (Michael Douglas) (Documentary)
- 2000 - Traffic (Robert Wakefield)
Wonder Boys (Professor Grady Tripp)
- 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)
- Tell Them Who You Are (Michael Douglas) (Documentary)
- 2006 - You, Me and Dupree (Mr. Thompson)
The Sentinel (Pete Garrison) (Actor/Producer)
- 2007 - King of California (Charlie)
- 2008 (Announced) - The Mechanic (Kevin Bishop)
Racing the Monsoon (Co-Producer)