Being the son of a famous actor can't hurt in establishing a career, and no one knows this better than Michael Douglas, whose father led him to Oscar gold. Michael was born on September 25, 1944, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of legendary actor Kirk Douglas. He got his big break on the TV crime drama The Streets of San Francisco, which co-starred Karl Malden and ran from 1972 to 1976.
Thanks to his famous father, Michael won his first Oscar as a producer, after Kirk handed him production rights for the film adaptation of the play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975. His acting career lagged during the late 1970s, with the exception of the drama The China Syndrome, which earned his co-stars Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda Oscar nominations. It wasn't until 1984 that Michael's acting career finally began to take off, with the comedy adventure Romancing the Stone (which he also produced), co-starring Kathleen Turner. The film, and its sequel Jewel of the Nile were box office successes and established Michael as a strong actor and savvy producer.
The year of 1987 brought the actor even more recognition with the erotic thriller Fatal Attraction, wherein he carries on a dangerous affair with an unbalanced woman played by Glenn Close and Wall Street, for which he won a Best Actor Oscar as money-hungry stock broker 'Gordon Gekko' who taught his protege, played by Charlie Sheen that 'greed is good.' He went on to reunite with Kathleen Turner for 1989's War of the Roses and had his most controversial hit in 1992 with Basic Instinct. The film, which launched the career of Sharon Stone, was protested by a number of gay and lesbian groups for its negative depiction of homosexuals - but the film grossed over $117 million in the U.S. alone. The '90s also brought Michael good reviews for Falling Down, Disclosure and The Game.
In 2000, Michael married Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is 25 years his junior. The couple have two children, Dylan Michael (born August 8, 2000) and Carys Zeta (born April 20, 2003.) Michael has continued to deliver solid performances in films like Traffic and You, Me and Dupree and will continue to be a force in Hollywood on both sides of the screen.
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