In the 1960s and 1970s, I used to watch The Fugitive and Cannon and Barnaby Jones, virtually all the Quinn Martin productions, including the cop show The Streets of San Francisco. It starred Karl Malden as the wise senior partner, and Michael Douglas as the impetuous junior partner.
I didn’t really know who Michael Douglas was, except that he was the son of Kirk Douglas, the guy whose jaw was so square that the mimics on the Ed Sullivan Show, just had to grit their teeth to “do” him. Here’s Michael Douglas talking about the Kirk impressions.
He left TV to produce the acclaimed 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. From then on, I saw him star in. and/or produce, a number of films:
1979 The China Syndrome (actor, producer)
1984 Starman (executive producer)
1985 A Chorus Line (actor)
1989 The War of the Roses (actor)
1990 Flatliners (producer)
1992 Radio Flyer (executive producer)
1992 Shining Through (actor)
1995 The American President (actor)
2000 Traffic (actor)
However, I managed to miss some of his iconic roles, such as in Basic Instinct (1992), Fatal Attraction (1987), Wall Street (1987), and Romancing the Stone (1984). He has been announcing the introduction to NBC Nightly News since December 2007.
“Douglas married Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on November 18, 2000. They were both born on September 25, though 25 years apart.” Though they were living separately for a time in 2013, by November of that year, the couple had reconciled.
He suffered from tongue cancer in 2010, and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The ailment was likely caused by a “combination of stress, his previous alcohol abuse, and years of heavy smoking.”
Just this summer I saw a segment on CBS Sunday Morning, his return to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut, where he first attended in 1966.