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Michael Douglas reveals advice dad Kirk gave him early in his career

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Michael Douglas may be Hollywood royalty, but he wanted to carve his own path in the entertainment biz.

Douglas, 77, reflected on the advice that his late father Kirk Douglas gave to him as he was building his film career. The “Spartacus” star died in February 2020 at the age of 103.

The “Wall Street” icon chatted with the producers of the Fourth Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival and discussed the future of movies as well as his famous dad.

“Having a father who was a movie star and mother [Diana Douglas] as an actress, I was able to watch their insecurities and see that what was on the screen was not exactly what that person was like,” Douglas said.

He continued, “I learned to treat this as a true business-being professional and not getting caught up in the image people try to create.”

Diana passed away in July 2015 at the age of 92 from cancer. She was married to Kirk from 1943 until their divorce in 1951.

In 2021, the “Ant-Man” actor paid tribute to his father on the first anniversary of his passing.

Kirk Douglas and Son Michael in Paris, 1984
“Having a father who was a movie star and mother as an actress, I was able to watch their insecurities and see that what was on the screen was not exactly what that person was like,” the “Wall Street” star explained.
Getty Images

“Can’t believe it’s been a year since you left us,” he captioned a photo on Instagram of the two men hugging. “At 103, you picked a good time to check out. I love you with all my heart,” Douglas’ wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, commented at the time, “Love you Pappy.”

At the time of Kirk’s death, Douglas released a heartfelt statement, saying: “To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to. But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad.”

Allegations that Kirk sexually assaulted actress Natalie Wood in 1955 when she was a teen came to light late last year. The “West Side Story” star’s sister Lana Wood wrote about the alleged incident in her memoir, “Little Sister: My Investigation into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood.”

KIRK DOUGLAS;MICHAEL DOUGLAS;KARL MALDEN
Kirk and Michael Douglas on the set of “The Streets of San Francisco” in 1975.
Disney General Entertainment Con

Lana, 75, explained to Fox News last November why she chose to make the claim, a longstanding Hollywood rumor, over 60 years later.

She admitted that the #MeToo movement helped her advocate for her late sister’s legacy. “That’s a terrible thing to have the courage to come out with,” Lana said. “It was really uncomfortable. And I’ve never said anything about it until now.”

“But with the #MeToo movement, I felt that women are getting the strength,” she said. “They’re finding the strength to say something. But, you’ve got to understand why it wasn’t easy to say anything before. Whenever anybody came forward with a story about anybody, the first question that they’re asked is ‘why did you wait so long?’ Why are you saying something now?’”



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