Inside The Marriage of Michael Douglas And Catherine Zeta-Jones

Everything there is to know about Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
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It was a love story most people thought would never last. Hollywood superstars Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have 25 years between them – making them one of the world’s most famous May-December romances.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have certainly gone through a lot in their nearly 25-year-long marriage. In this article, we take a look at the ups and downs of Michael and Catherine’s marriage, from how they first met to their life now.

WATCH NOW: Catherine Zeta-Jones is a ‘lioness’ when it comes to protecting her family. Article continues after video. 

Who Is Michael Douglas?

Michael Douglas comes from a family of actors.

His father, Kirk Douglas, and his mother, Diana Dill, met when they were students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Michael would follow in his parent’s footsteps, receiving a BA in Drama from the University of California and further studied acting at The American Place Theatre.

Michael Douglas on stage at the 71st Emmy Awards
Michael Douglas (Credit: Getty)

In 1984, Michael starred in the Robert Zemeckis-directed romcom Romancing the Stone, which shot him to fame.

He’d go on to star in numerous other films, cementing his status as a leading man.

Michael has been recognised time and again for his acting, going on to win an Academy Award (Wall Street, 1988), Golden Globe (The Kominsky Method, 2019, among others), and Emmy (Behind the Candelabra, 2013, among others), to name a few.

Who Is Catherine Zeta-Jones?

Catherine Zeta-Jones grew up wanting to become an actress, participating in dance and theatre shows as a child and teenager.

Compared to her husband, she comes from a modest background, her parents were only able to afford to send Catherine to dance lessons by winning a bingo competition.

Her first big role was as Peggy Sawyer in a West End production of 42nd Street, which she would play for two years.

While it wasn’t her first screen role, Catherine shot to nationwide attention when she starred in the British series The Darling Buds of May from 1991 to 1993.

Catherine would eventually relocate to Los Angeles to get away from being typecast as the token pretty girl.

She starred in a handful of films and series before being noticed by Steven Spielberg who cast her in The Mask of Zorro, which would catapult her to fame in America.

How Did Michael Douglas And Catherine Zeta-Jones Meet?

The couple first met in 1998, at the Deauville Film Festival in France.

Michael was smitten and very forward with his feelings, telling Catherine: I’m going to be the father of your children.

Catherine, however, simply responded with You know, I’ve heard a lot about you, and I’ve seen a lot about you, and I think it’s time to say good night.

Michael apologised by sending her flowers, and the rest is history!

From Dinner Dates To Getting Engaged

After that fateful meeting, Michael and Catherine kept in touch.

They would have long conversations over the phone, wonderful dinner dates, and generally enjoy spending time together.

Eventually, the question of “why are we not together?” came up and Catherine and Michael actually sat down to talk about it!

They both realised that a relationship between them could work, and they decided to go for it.

Of course, the fact that Michael was 25 years Catherine’s senior didn’t go unnoticed by the press. But they didn’t let it bother them: by 1999, Michael had proposed to Catherine.

It was New Year’s Eve, and they were both down with the flu when Michael presented an antique Fred Leighton 10-carat diamond ring.

The diamond was surrounded by 28 smaller diamonds, and is estimated to be worth around $USD 1 million!

The Fairytale Wedding

When Michael proposed, Catherine was already pregnant with their son, Dylan Michael.

They got married three months after his birth in a lavish ceremony on November 18, 2000. The wedding was held in Plaza Hotel, New York, and cost around $USD 1.5-million.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas at the wedding rehearsal dinner at the Russian Tea Room
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas soon after they met. (Credit: Getty)

BBC called it the “wedding of the year”, and while there were crowds upon crowds of people who lined the street outside Plaza Hotel, the ceremony itself was an incredibly private affair. 

There was a 40-member Welsh choir that sang for the ceremony, plus performances by Jimmy Buffet and Art Garfunkel! Of course, among the 350 guests are Hollywood royalty – Jack Nicholson, Goldie Hawn, Meg Ryan, and Danny DeVito, to name a few!

After going all out on their wedding, Michael and Catherine decided to stay in for their honeymoon. They simply stayed in with their young son. They enjoyed every moment together, with Michael saying: “It doesn’t get any better than this”.

Family Life

Michael already had a son, Cameron, from his previous marriage to movie producer Diandra Luker. Cameron was born in 1978 and would follow in his father’s footsteps as an actor. Michael’s next children would be with Catherine: Dylan in 2000, and daughter Carys Zeta in 2003.

The family of four lived in Bermuda from before Carys was born until around 2009. Here, Dylan and Carys were able to grow up with their cousins, and they lived a fairly normal life. In fact, Carys thought growing up that her dad was just a pancake maker and not a famous actor!

Bumps On The Road

In 2010, it was announced that Michael had been diagnosed with throat cancer. However, it turned out to actually be Stage IV tongue cancer. He immediately underwent radiation and chemotherapy, doing his best to remain positive despite it. Michael lost around 20 kilos in the process, but in 2011, he was declared cancer-free.

A picture of happiness. (Credit: Instagram)

It turns out that Catherine had her own battles too: in the same year, she entered into a mental health facility to treat her bipolar II disorder. Catherine was honest and forthcoming about her illness to the media, in hopes of helping remove the stigma against mental health issues.

Throughout their health issues, Michael and Catherine stuck by each other’s sides. It came as a shock when it was announced in 2013 that the couple had seemingly split – they were taking a break. But their marriage wasn’t doomed: they were back together by April 2014!

Michael And Catherine Today

Born on the same day, Michael is now 78 years old while Catherine is 53 – birthdays that would usually call for grand celebrations!

But instead of a grand celebration, they chose to keep it simple. In fact, they’re downsizing: they’ve sold their huge Bedford Corners mansion for $USD 20.5-million, and bought a slightly smaller manor house in Irvington for $USD 4.5-million.

Nowadays, Catherine and Michael seem to be less focused on their careers and more focused on their kids.

Dylan and Carys have grown up so fast! (Credit: Getty)

In May 2023, Carys stepped out with her parents to attend the 76th annual Cannes film festival in France. 

Her beloved brother was a no-show, but had stunned onlookers with his similarities to his famous father at the opening night of a new Broadway production just one month earlier. 

For more family pictures of the Zeta-Jones-Douglas family, our sister publication Now to Love has pulled together their sweetest family moments together in one wholesome gallery. You can check it out here. 

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