How much is Michael Douglas worth?
|Net Worth:||$300 Million|
|Date of Birth:||September 25, 1944|
|Country:||United States of America|
Turning Glen Close into a bunny boiler, ruthlessly plowing his way to the top of Wall Street hierarchy, and playing into Sharon Stone’s ice pick-wielding clutches.
Who Is Michael Douglas
Like father, like son. The spawn of legendary actor Kirk Douglas, two-time Oscar winner Michael Douglas has convincingly earned a chapter in Hollywood’s history books, both as a respected actor and a freewheeling womanizer. His career and his wild ways have settled down in recent years, but Mike isn’t going anywhere.
The eldest son of Kirk Douglas, one of the greatest Hollywood icons, he had big shoes to fill. Michael is famous to audiences young and old for his many roles. The older will remember his roles in Fatal Attraction and Wall Street, and the younger will have seen him in Marvel Comics’ Avengers: Endgame and Ant-Man. Arthouse fans applaud his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra.
While arguably Michael didn’t become as great a Hollywood icon as his father, he has far exceeded his father as an actor, winning more awards than his father ever did.
We calculate Michael Douglas has a net worth of at least $300 million dollars as of 2020.
A Promising Start
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Douglas decided as a teenager that he wanted to follow in his famous father’s footsteps. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1966, he appeared in a few minor roles in films and on television before landing a co-starring role with veteran actor Karl Malden in the popular series, Streets of San Francisco. The police drama, which ran from 1972 to 1976, gave Michael the boost he needed to become a star.
His film career got off to a promising start in the mid-‘70s. In 1975, Douglas tried his hand at producing films. His much acclaimed One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest went on to win five Academy Awards, including one for Douglas for Best Picture. In 1979, he produced and starred in The China Syndrome, a movie about a nuclear reactor failure that garnered a lot of attention when a real nuclear meltdown happened weeks after it was released.
Becoming An Icon
His career only got better in the ‘80s when he made some of the movies that would define him as an actor. 1984’s Romancing the Stone alongside Kathleen Turner, he proved that he had the chops to do comedy. But fans saw him at his best in the 1987 drama/thriller Fatal Attraction. Douglas appeared as the object of Glen Close’s crazed and murderous obsession in the hugely popular movie that grossed $320 million worldwide. It also had a brilliant and infamous “bunny boiling” scene that is still referenced and parodied in movies and television shows to this day.
Douglas starred next in the Oliver Stone-directed Wall Street, a scathing indictment of the financial world’s wretched excess and ruthless dog-eat-dog mentality. Douglas’s portrayal of Gordon Gekko—who became a symbol of the industry at that time—won him a Best Actor Oscar.
During 1990 and 1991, Douglas produced and appeared in a string of movies that left little impression on the public before he once again hit the box office jackpot with 1992’s Basic Instinct. This controversial and graphically sexual movie grossed over $350 million worldwide and helped his co-star, Sharon Stone, become a white hot star.
Douglas once again displayed his knack for finding scripts that touched upon the hot-button topics of the day with 1993’s Falling Down. The drama—which followed a man in the throes of a breakdown—was at its heart a barometer of the country’s feelings about unemployment, divorce, gangs, racial issues and working class stressors. His next film, Disclosure, paired two of the hottest stars of the time—Douglas and Demi Moore in a tale of reverse sexual harassment. Once again, Michael in a racy role proved to be the formula for box office success.
Personal Triumphs And Woes
In 2000, Douglas appeared in the critically acclaimed ensemble drama Traffic and was lauded for his role in Wonder Boys. That year, he finalized his divorce from Diandra Luker, who he had married in 1977 after a short, nine-week whirlwind courtship. The couple had a son, Cameron, in December of 1978. But the charismatic star didn’t stay single long. In November, he married actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom he had started dating in 1999. They have two children—Dylan who was born before the wedding in August of 2000 and Carys, who was born in April of 2003.
In 2010, he reprised his now famous role of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which brought him back to the top of the box office. Unfortunately, his personal life in 2010 was not as kind. In April, his son Cameron was sentenced to five years in prison following an arrest for dealing drugs. In August, Douglas announced that he was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer. But Douglas took the disease head on and with his wife by his side, he beat it just in time to ring in 2011 as a healthy man.
How Did Michael Douglas Get So Rich?
Douglas’s first forays as an actor were in films which were mostly forgettable. His very first role was in Hail, Hero! (1969), a Vietnam-era antiwar film. Today, the film is largely regarded as dated.
His successes came when he landed the role of Steve Keller on the popular television series The Streets of San Francisco (1972), co-starring veteran actor Karl Malden. Three years later in 1975, he purchased from his father the filming rights to Ken Kesey’s novel ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and produced what is today a cult phenomenon. This launched Douglas in Hollywood as a driving force and won him Academy Awards in five major categories: best picture, best actor (Jack Nicholson), best actress (Louise Fletcher), best director (Miloš Forman), and best screenplay. From this astonishing success so early on in Douglas’s film career, he would go on to co-produce and star in some of Hollywood’s biggest box-office hits for the next two decades: Starman (1984), Flatliners (1990), Face/Off (1997), and The Rainmaker (1997). The Rainmaker raked in approximately US$46 million, alone.
Of the films Michael produced and starred in, we must mention The China Syndrome released in 1979. This neo-noir film was not only a heart-stopping thriller, it was also one of the smartest films ever written and produced. Its release coincided with the Three Mile Island nuclear incident, which took place just twelve days later. China Syndrome told the story of a television reporter and her cameraman who discovered cover-ups of safety lapses in a nuclear plant outside Los Angeles. The subject matter of the film was very topical in the 70s, and brought Michael Douglas a lot of attention, cinematically, and interest from the general public. The film took in sales of nearly $5 million in the first weekend of opening and grossed over $51 million in box-office earnings in total.
The film that really launched Michael as a leading man was Romancing the Stone (1984). For director Robert Zemeckis, this was also his first box-office success, and success it was! The film grossed a whopping $115 million.
In 1987, Michael would release Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close, where he played a family man and attorney, Dan Gallagher, who because of a weekend fling with Glen Close’s Alexandra Forest resulted in near ruin for his family as Alex became obsessed with Gallagher and stopped at nothing to get her revenge at Gallagher whom she perceived to have taken his liberties with her and used her. Fatal Attraction grossed an incredible $320 million worldwide. Michael’s next film of iconic status was Wall Street, which he reprised again in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. For his role as the tycoon in Wall Street, he received an Oscar for Best Actor. Wall Street grossed over $40 million.
With a list of superlative and iconic films, Douglas, in both producing and acting in them, not only became one of the most famous actors in the world but also rather wealthy. His current net worth is estimated at $300 million dollars in 2020.
Why Is He So Famous?
Being the son of a legendary actor already gives you a lot of cachets, for sure. However, for Michael, you can truly say it was his work and work alone that catapulted him to beyond the A-list in Hollywood.
Following Fatal Attraction, he would star in the successful but also controversial hit, Basic Instinct (1992). This movie is probably best remembered for the scene where Sharon Stone crossed and uncrossed her legs, san panties, but it was its depiction of lesbians and bisexuality that generated a lot of its discussion.
After Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, Douglas was at risk of being type-cast as an actor of violent sex, or some would say, in roles of an abuser of the sexual privilege that white American middle-class men were perceived to have. However, Wall Street, The American President, and The Wonder Boys, three very different films of very different genres would soon dispel that type-cast risk to establish Douglas as the consummate actor he is.
While filming Wonder Boys, a movie about a novelist who struggled with writer’s block, Michael met his future wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, an accomplished actress from Wales, England, most famous for her role in the movie adaptation of the musical, Chicago. Michael Douglas was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Wonder Boys. Together with Catherine, the couple shone with star-power.
Michael has truly captured audiences as diverse as his films. His role as the very convincing Liberace alongside Matt Damon in Behind the Candelabra (2013) pleased arthouse audiences. The film garnered a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score even though it was not a huge box-office success.
In recent years, to quench the world’s thirst for all things superhero, Douglas appeared in Marvel Comic’s Avengers: Endgame and Ant-Man.
In total, Michael has won two Oscars, five Golden Globes, an Emmy award, and two lifetime achievement awards, one from the AFI and the other at the Golden Globes.
What Makes Him So Successful?
There are a lot of children of celebrities who skate through life on the name and recognition of their parents. Michael Douglas did not fall into that trap. From a very early age, he knew what he wanted to do in life, and he wanted to make a name for himself. He even used pseudonyms early in his career to separate himself from the light and shadow of his father. With talent, hard work, and the ability to spot great projects, he grew into an incredible actor.
Films like The China Syndrome, Fatal Attraction, and Wall Street were unique products of their time, as they spoke to the threats and topical issues of the day. Michael’s roles in these films held his audience’s imagination and left an indelible mark on their mind.
Growing up the son of a Hollywood great is a lot of pressure. However, Michael used talents, the uncanny ability to spot iconic roles, and took risks to transform himself into the acclaimed actor he is today. With humor, he has also battled tongue cancer, attributing it to too much sex!
Douglas is also a very passionate campaigner for human rights and nuclear disarmament. In 2003, he and Catherine Zeta-Jones hosted the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway. They acted as co-masters of ceremony in the concert celebrating the award given to Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. In 2006, Douglas was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
We can all take a leaf from Michael’s book, from his tenacity to his go-for-it attitude to life. While many our hamstrung by having a successful parent already in the industry, many would say Michael stepped over Kirk in his achievements in Hollywood.