Michael Douglas Gets Candid About Difficult Relationship With Father Kirk Douglas


On the latest episode of the Max series Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, the veteran anchor sat down with legendary film star Michael Douglas. During their chat, Douglas spoke about the difficult relationship he had with his father, Kirk Douglas, also a famed actor.

Wallace, the son of late 60 Minutes journalist Mike Wallace, told Douglas that “you and I are members of the same club. The sons of famous fathers who were foolish enough to go into their dads’ professions.” He then asked Douglas how his own father’s success had shaped their father-son relationship.

“It was not particularly good in the beginning,” Douglas admitted. “Probably, it was just because of the amount of work that he was doing. Career definitely went first before family,” the actor reflected.

But as Douglas’ career began to flourish with projects like Basic Instinct, his relationship with his father also began to morph and grow “in the sort of third act of [Kirk’s] career.”

Douglas continued: “I think…he was a little stunned that I was having a certain degree of success.”

Inevitably, Douglas has taken the less positive aspects of his relationship with his father and used them as learning tools with his own family. Douglas shares two children with his wife of 24 years, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

“It is a reminder for me now, as I’m into my third act, that we can change,” Douglas reflected, noting that he and his dad “were very close” when Kirk passed at age 103 in 2020. “I’m happy to say that, by the time he’s ending his life, and before that, the last 15, 20 years, were a joy to be [together].”

Douglas is currently starring as Benjamin Franklin on Apple TV+’s Franklin, streaming now.

Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace is streaming on Max.

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