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Michael Douglas

Date of Birth: Monday, September 25, 1944
AGE: 74
Occupation: Actor

Biography: Michael Kirk Douglas is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards; first as producer of 1975?s Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo?s Nest, and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2009. He is the eldest of actor Kirk Douglas?s four sons.

Douglas was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the first child of actor Kirk Douglas and Bermudian actress Diana Dill. His paternal grandparents, Harry Demsky (born Herschel Danielovitch) and Bryna Demsky (nee Sanglel), were Jewish immigrants from Gomel in Belarus (at that time a part of the Russian Empire). His mother and maternal grandparents, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Melville Dill and Ruth Rapalje Neilson, were natives of Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. Douglas has a younger brother, Joel Douglas (born 1947), and two paternal half-brothers, Peter Douglas (born 1955) and Eric Douglas (1958-2004).

Douglas attended The Choate Preparatory School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut. He received his B.A. in drama from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1968, where he was also the Honorary President of the UCSB Alumni Association. He studied acting with Wynn Handman at The American Place Theater in New York City.

Douglas started his film career in the late 1960s and early 1970s, appearing in little known films like Hail, Hero! and Summertree. His first significant role came in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco from 1972 to 1976, where he starred alongside Karl Malden. Douglas later said that Malden became a "mentor" and someone he "admired and loved deeply". After Douglas left the show, he had a long association with his mentor until Malden?s death on July 1, 2009. In 2004, Douglas presented Malden with the Monte Cristo Award of the Eugene O?Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1975, Douglas received from his father, Kirk Douglas, the rights to the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo?s Nest. Michael went on to produce the film of the same name with Saul Zaentz. Kirk Douglas considered playing the starring role himself, having starred in an earlier stage version, but chose against it, considering himself too old. The lead role went instead to a young Jack Nicholson, who would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. Douglas won the Award for Best Picture for producing the film.

After leaving Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas played a hospital doctor in the medical thriller Coma (1978), and in 1979 he played the role of a troubled marathon runner in Running. In 1979, he both produced and starred in The China Syndrome, a dramatic film co-starring Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon about a nuclear power plant accident (the Three Mile Island accident took place 12 days after the film?s release). The film was considered "one of the most intelligent Hollywood films of the 1970s."

Douglas? acting career was propelled to fame when he produced and starred in the 1984 romantic adventure comedy Romancing the Stone. It also helped launch Kathleen Turner to stardom, reintroduced Douglas as a capable leading man, and gave director Bob Zemeckis his first box-office success.

In 1987 Douglas starred in the thriller Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close. That same year he played tycoon Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone?s Wall Street for which he received an Academy Award as Best Actor. He reprised his role as Gekko in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 2010, also directed by Stone.

Douglas again paired with Kathleen Turner for the 1989 film The War of the Roses, which also starred Danny DeVito. In 1989, he starred in Ridley Scott?s international police crime drama Black Rain opposite Andy García and Kate Capshaw. The film was shot in Osaka, Japan.

In 1992, Douglas had another successful starring role when he appeared alongside Sharon Stone in the film Basic Instinct. The movie was a box office hit, and sparked controversy over its depictions of bisexuality and lesbianism. In 1994, Douglas and Demi Moore starred in the hit movie Disclosure focusing on the topic of sexual harassment with Douglas playing a man harassed by his new female boss.

In 2000, Douglas starred in Steven Soderbergh?s critically acclaimed film Traffic, opposite Benicio del Toro and future wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. That same year, he also received critical acclaim for his role in Wonder Boys as a professor and novelist suffering from writer?s block. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama as well as several other awards from critics.

After filming Summertree (1971), he began dating Brenda Vaccaro. The relationship lasted for about six years.

In March 1977, 33 year old Douglas married 19 year old Diandra Luker, the daughter of an Austrian diplomat. They had one son, Cameron, born in 1978. In 1997 Diandra filed for divorce and was awarded $45 million as her settlement.

Dating since March 1999, 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 Deauville, France, Douglas used the line "I want to father your children ". They have two children, Dylan Michael (born 2000) and Carys Zeta (born 2003).

On January 11, 2011, he said in an interview that the tumour was gone. He admitted that the illness and aggressive treatment had caused him to lose 32 lbs in weight.

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