Kirk Douglas passes away: Recalling when son Michael opened up to Anil Kapoor on living in his father's shadow

FP Staff

Feb 06, 2020 13:52:54 IST

Kirk Douglas, the stage and screen actor well-known for a range of roles, including the 1960 classic Spartacus, passed away on Wednesday.

We go back to December 2019 when his actor-son Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were invited to India for a media summit. The power couple, in a discussion with Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, fondly remembered Kirk, and had a lengthy discussion on films, nepotism, and Bollywood.

 Kirk Douglas passes away: Recalling when son Michael opened up to Anil Kapoor on living in his fathers shadow

Anil, who comes from a family of producers and actors, asked Michael on what he thought of nepotism, and if it was a curse or gift in his career?

The Wall Street star said he struggled to live up to the legacy of his father in his youth. Winning the Academy Award for his performance in director Oliver Stone’s drama about the '80s excess, Douglas said, was especially important for him, ‘because I felt like I‘d stepped out of the shadow of my father, and created my own identity.’

He said his father was instrumental in shaping him as a person and mentioned 'ethics, tenacity, and hard work' were key to his success. He further added star kids ‘need to work twice as hard’ as others because they are prone to more scrutiny.

Michael later also narrated how his father tried for years to make a film out of Ken Kesey’s cult novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In the 1970s, he gave up and let Michael have a try. The younger Douglas produced a classic, that starred Jack Nicholson (in the role Kirk wanted to play), which dominated the Oscars, winning best picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay.

“My father has played up his disappointment with that pretty good,’’ Michael Douglas later told Vanity Fair. “I have to remind him, I shared part of my producing back-end (credit) with him, so he ended up making more money off that movie than he had in any other picture.”

Kirk, the intense, muscular actor with the dimpled chin, reigned for decades as a Hollywood maverick and patriarch.

Michael said in a statement on his Instagram account, “To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.”

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Updated Date: Feb 06, 2020 13:52:54 IST