Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. Douglas’s career includes a diverse range of films in the independent and blockbuster genres, for which he has received a number of accolades, both competitive and honorary. These awards include the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” and the AFI Life Achievement Award, which “honor[s] an individual whose career in motion pictures or television has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture”.
The elder son of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, Douglas received his Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His early acting roles included film, stage, and television productions. Douglas first achieved prominence for his performance in the ABC police procedural television series The Streets of San Francisco, for which he received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations. In 1975, Douglas produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, having acquired the rights to the Ken Kesey novel from his father. The film received critical and popular acclaim, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, earning Douglas his first Oscar as one of the film’s producers. After leaving The Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas went on to produce films including The China Syndrome (1979) and Romancing the Stone (1984). He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Romancing the Stone, in which he also starred, thus reintroducing himself to audiences as a capable leading man.
After reprising his Romancing the Stone role as Jack Colton in the 1985 sequel The Jewel of the Nile, which he also produced, and along with appearing in the musical A Chorus Line (1985) and the psychological thriller Fatal Attraction (1987), Douglas received widespread acclaim for his portrayal of amoral corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the Oliver Stone-directed drama Wall Street, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He reprised the role in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). Douglas’s subsequent film roles included: Black Rain (1989); The War of the Roses (1989); Basic Instinct (1992); ‘‘ Falling Down’’ (1993); The American President (1995); The Game (1997); Traffic and Wonder Boys (both 2000); Solitary Man (2009); and Ant-Man (2015). In 2013, Douglas’s performance as Liberace in the HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra, received universal critical acclaim, and the actor won numerous accolades for his role, including Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Apart from his career in the film industry, Douglas has received notice for his humanitarian and political activism, as well as media attention for his marriage to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.