Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer, who has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the AFI Life Achievement Award.
- People have this idea that I'm part of show business royalty. I cherish the relationship I had with my father, and I'd love to fulfill the fantasy. But when I was young, he was a working actor and hadn't quite made it yet.
- A work ethic. Courtesy to your fellow human beings. And kindness. Which are traits you have to work at and rehearse. Particularly compassion — I feel a certain responsibility to conduct myself as somebody who has been blessed and fortunate simply because I was born a white male. And also to teach them to be good citizens of the planet. I'm conscious of us all being in this together.
- On what he wants from his children and grandchildren to learn from him in "Michael Douglas Will Never Stop Working" in AARP (25 March 2021)
- I read the script, and I think, 'That's a good movie, and that's a really good movie, moves me, makes me laugh, this and that.' I don't worry about the part. Then I'm looking who's around me? Who's the director? Who's the cast? And I would much rather have a little part in a good movie than a big part in a crappy movie.
- This year, 2020, is the worst year of my life. I was born in 1944, so I took no part in the Second World War. But this is one of the worst things I can imagine. The pandemic affects everyone, regardless of their financial status. The only hope I have is that it brings us all a little closer. But it is a tragedy, and it indicates which countries have strong governments and those which do not. I hope that it will prepare us for the next time.
- You rack your brain. You take it personally in the beginning, you start blaming yourself. My career came before my family. My marriage was not great, and so you do hide yourself in your work. I should have focused more on my family. But that's hard to say when you're in the midst of your career, when you are in your own mind stepping out of your father's shadow, trying to create a life of your own.
- On the repercussions of his son Cameron's drug addiction in "'My career came before my family': Michael Douglas blamed himself for son Cameron's addiction" in USA Today (23 October 2019)
- I said it as Gordon Gekko, but I don’t believe that greed is good. The size of fortunes in finance have increased. It’s an accumulation of our political system over the past 30 years; the amount of money that’s invested in certain politicians, so the politician is not responsible to his constituency, but to the people who financially supported him. What you’re seeing now is the result of years of choosing the person who has the best financial connections. I’m sure Gordon Gekko would have been friends with Donald Trump. I’ve known Donald fairly well over the years, in New York. They would probably play golf together!
- The Cold War's end pushed disarmament down most leaders' agendas. It's a sophisticated issue, which I think is one reason why it is not so hands-on to many people. It's not visceral. It's not like a starving child.
- Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet.
- I'm impressed with the people from Chicago. Hollywood is hype, New York is talk, Chicago is work.
- If your work isn't exciting, doesn't stir the emotions, where's the challenge? Where's the progress if you always play it safe?
- I'm a risk-taker. Most of my career has not been a joyful experience, but it has been challenging. I like the dangers.
- Do you know what absolute happiness is? For me, it is to wake up my kids in the morning - these little pieces of innocence - to wake them and find they're so happy to see me! It is unequivocal love, no question about it.
- It's difficult for me to meet women because my crowd is much older. I know that for some of the young women I do meet, a relationship with me can be envisioned as a benefit to their career.