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 in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Michael would follow in his parents’ footsteps, receiving a BA in Drama from the University of California and further studied acting at The American Place Theatre.
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.
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”.
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.
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 75 years old while Catherine is 50 – 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: Catherine has been seen visiting Dylan in college, and taking Carys (who’s almost as tall as her now!) along to fashion shows.