Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A groundbreaking portrait of one of Hollywood's most successful stars, from critically acclaimed and bestselling biographer Marc Eliot

Through determination, inventiveness, and charisma, Michael Douglas emerged from the long shadow cast by his movie-legend father, Kirk Douglas, to become his own man and one of the film industry's most formi­dable players.

Overcoming the curse of failure that haunts the sons and daughters of Hollywood celebrities, Michael became a sensation when he successfully brought One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring his friend Jack Nicholson, to the screen after numerous setbacks, including his father's own failed attempts to make it happen. This 1975 box-office phenomenon won Michael his first Oscar (the film won five total, including Best Picture), an award Kirk hadn't won at the time, and solidified the turbulent, competitive father-son relationship that would shape Michael's career and personal life.

In the decades that followed, Michael established a reputation for taking chances on new talent and proj­ects by producing and starring in the hugely successful Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile movies, while cultivating a multifaceted acting persona--edgy, rebel­lious, and a little dark--in such films as Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Disclosure.

Yet as his career thrived, Michael's personal life floundered, with an unhappy and tumultuous first mar­riage, rumors of infidelity (especially with leading ladies such as Kathleen Turner), and a headline-grabbing stint in rehab. Rocked by a series of tragedies, including Kirk's strokes, his son Cameron's incarceration, and his own fight against throat cancer, Michael has emerged trium­phant, healthy, and happy in his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, a Welsh actress twenty-five years his junior, and their new young family.

In Michael Douglas, Marc Eliot brings into sharp fo­cus this incredible career, complicated personal life, and legendary Hollywood family. Eliot's fascinating portrait of the lows and remarkable highs in Michael's life--in­cluding the thorny yet influential relationship with his father--breaks boundaries in understanding the life and work of a true American film star.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishing Group, 2012.
ISBN: 9780307952387
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 23, 2014

I've always been interested in Douglas' career and work as an artist, I also have been curious about the family overall after meeting his youngest brother Eric, who died tragically in 2004. I saw Eric in a play in West Hollywood where he eerily reminded me of his father, Kirk, dressed in a military uniform. He took a group of us to dinner afterward, anxious to find out what we really thought of his performance. While one would have thought that all he was looking for was praise, it quickly became obvious to me that he really wanted the truth. He came around to each person individually at the table, quietly asking for specifics on what we liked and what we thought could have been done better.

With undeniable magnetism, he looked each one of us in the eye, listening intently - obviously taking in and considering our comments. At the end of the evening, we all piled into his father's brown old school Mercedes which was in immaculate condition. Checking the glove compartment, he said "Let's see what daddy has to listen to!!" as he popped out an 8 track of Tony Bennett. The pedigree of Eric and how he was raised was more than evident, even as we raced down the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles at 2 a.m. It turned out to be an unforgettable evening.

I'd forgotten just how ground breaking some of the movies that Michael Douglas has been involved with actually were. I've always liked his work as an actor, but his work as a producer is even more impressive in some ways. The details in the book describe just how he managed to overcome being the son of an iconic actor - by being himself, true to who he is and following his own instincts.

While Michael Douglas' work has never risen to the level of critical appreciation as actors such as Pacino, Hoffman and DeNiro, he has still been acknowledged with multiple awards over the course of his career. More than many actors of his particular generation, Douglas has navigated the challenging landscape of the complex and vulnerable male, managing to create sympathetic characters who, despite their flaws, still appeal to audiences.

The book is a comprehensive and complete exploration of all of the phases of Douglas' life including his very earliest years, relationship with parents, rebel hippie years and the slow but steady connection to Hollywood, beginning as a stage assistant with his father and subsequent ascent to producer and actor. Additionally, his personal relationships with women are also addressed, in a strikingly honest way. Since Douglas himself probably signed off in some way on this book - his willingness to expose the details of his life in this way only speak to his dedication to his art. It is through books like this that up and coming actors and filmmakers can learn the most valuable lessons - about the life and business of being an artist.

Above all, Eliot is a great storyteller who has taken the life of an extraordinary, well known artist and provided a fascinating, multi-faceted perspective for readers.

ChristchurchLib Nov 14, 2012

Best known for films like Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction (and perhaps, in some quarters, for his marriage to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones), Michael Douglas has been doing movies since the late 1960s, though it wasn't until a TV role on The Streets of San Francisco that he really developed a following. This biography, for which he was not interviewed, portrays Douglas' rise to prominence, his relationship with Zeta-Jones, the father-son tensions between him and his father, Kirk Douglas, and his friendships with other stars.
Review in Next Reads Popular Culture newsletter November 2012 http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=568377

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at YPRL

To Top