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Michael Douglas: A Biography
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Published:
Crown 2012
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Description
A groundbreaking portrait of one of Hollywood’s most successful stars, from critically acclaimed  and bestselling biographer Marc Eliot
 
Through determination, inventiveness, and charisma, Michael Douglas emerged from the long shadow cast by his movie-legend father, Kirk Douglas, to become his own man and one of the film industry’s most formi­dable players.
 
Overcoming the curse of failure that haunts the sons and daughters of Hollywood celebrities, Michael became a sensation when he successfully brought One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring his friend Jack Nicholson, to the screen after numerous setbacks, including his father’s own failed attempts to make it happen. This 1975 box-office phenomenon won Michael his first Oscar (the film won five total, including Best Picture), an award Kirk hadn’t won at the time, and solidified the turbulent, competitive father-son relationship that would shape Michael’s career and personal life.
 
In the decades that followed, Michael established a reputation for taking chances on new talent and proj­ects by producing and starring in the hugely successful Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile movies, while cultivating a multifaceted acting persona—edgy, rebel­lious, and a little dark—in such films as Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Disclosure.
 
Yet as his career thrived, Michael’s personal life floundered, with an unhappy and tumultuous first mar­riage, rumors of infidelity (especially with leading ladies such as Kathleen Turner), and a headline-grabbing stint in rehab. Rocked by a series of tragedies, including Kirk’s strokes, his son Cameron’s incarceration, and his own fight against throat cancer, Michael has emerged trium­phant, healthy, and happy in his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, a Welsh actress twenty-five years his junior, and their new young family.
In Michael Douglas, Marc Eliot brings into sharp fo­cus this incredible career, complicated personal life, and legendary Hollywood family. Eliot’s fascinating portrait of the lows and remarkable highs in Michael’s life—in­cluding the thorny yet influential relationship with his father—breaks boundaries in understanding the life and work of a true American film star.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/18/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307952387
ASIN:
B008LMD9N4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Marc Eliot. (2012). Michael Douglas: A Biography. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Marc Eliot. 2012. Michael Douglas: A Biography. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Marc Eliot, Michael Douglas: A Biography. Crown, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Marc Eliot. Michael Douglas: A Biography. Crown, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • fileAs: Eliot, Marc
      • bioText: MARC ELIOT is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books on popular culture, among them the highly acclaimed biographies Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood, and Steve McQueen. He divides his time among the east and west coasts, and Asia.
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title
Michael Douglas
fullDescription
A groundbreaking portrait of one of Hollywood’s most successful stars, from critically acclaimed  and bestselling biographer Marc Eliot
 
Through determination, inventiveness, and charisma, Michael Douglas emerged from the long shadow cast by his movie-legend father, Kirk Douglas, to become his own man and one of the film industry’s most formi­dable players.
 
Overcoming the curse of failure that haunts the sons and daughters of Hollywood celebrities, Michael became a sensation when he successfully brought One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring his friend Jack Nicholson, to the screen after numerous setbacks, including his father’s own failed attempts to make it happen. This 1975 box-office phenomenon won Michael his first Oscar (the film won five total, including Best Picture), an award Kirk hadn’t won at the time, and solidified the turbulent, competitive father-son relationship that would shape Michael’s career and personal life.
 
In the decades that followed, Michael established a reputation for taking chances on new talent and proj­ects by producing and starring in the hugely successful Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile movies, while cultivating a multifaceted acting persona—edgy, rebel­lious, and a little dark—in such films as Wall Street, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Disclosure.
 
Yet as his career thrived, Michael’s personal life floundered, with an unhappy and tumultuous first mar­riage, rumors of infidelity (especially with leading ladies such as Kathleen Turner), and a headline-grabbing stint in rehab. Rocked by a series of tragedies, including Kirk’s strokes, his son Cameron’s incarceration, and his own fight against throat cancer, Michael has emerged trium­phant, healthy, and happy in his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, a Welsh actress twenty-five years his junior, and their new young family.
In Michael Douglas, Marc Eliot brings into sharp fo­cus this incredible career, complicated personal life, and legendary Hollywood family. Eliot’s fascinating portrait of the lows and remarkable highs in Michael’s life—in­cluding the thorny yet influential relationship with his father—breaks boundaries in understanding the life and work of a true American film star.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 30, 2012
        Eliot’s series of actor biographies (Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood) here looks at the life and career of actor-producer Douglas. Curiously, Eliot has almost nothing to say about the actor’s childhood, but accelerates in covering his communal counterculture life at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his friendship with roommate Danny DeVito when both were struggling actors in New York City. After a foothold doing minor film roles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Douglas gained a following when he portrayed a detective during four seasons of The Streets of San Francisco on television. Shifting gears, he scored accolades when he produced the multi-Oscar winner One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, later commenting, “My producing career evolved out of my inability to get parts as an actor.” Eliot surveys the acclaim and box-office bonanza that followed: The China Syndrome, Romancing the Stone, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, and Basic Instinct, detailing Douglas’s rise as a romantic lead, both on-screen and off. Closing chapters cover his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones and his struggle with cancer. Highlighting father-son tensions with Kirk Douglas, Eliot succeeds with pages of psychological probes: “In a sense, Michael acted out his demons on-screen.” However, he often takes a journeyman cut-and-paste approach to writing, and since he did not interview Douglas, the book remains oddly distant from its subject.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2012
        Celebrity biographer Eliot (Steve McQueen, 2011, etc.) highlights American actor and producer Michael Douglas, considering his life and career through a competitive lens. The author proposes that Douglas was driven by both his parents' divorce and his legendary father Kirk's career--the son constantly sought to emerge from his father's shadow. In addition to covering Kirk's formative years as the child of Russian Jewish immigrants and his journey in Hollywood, Eliot examines Michael's struggles and successes, his personal and professional relationships (with emphasis on his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones as the height of his personal life) and his diagnosis and recovery from cancer. References to his father, replete with discouraging remarks, punctuate the narrative in sometimes heavy-handed ways, though Eliot concludes by surmising an eventual peace between father and son. Readers seeking a deep, insightful examination of the actor will likely be disappointed, and casual, lazy descriptions hamper the writing. Of the role played by Melanie Griffith in Shining Through, Eliot remarks that her character ."..is spying for America in the heart of Berlin during World War II and [is] somehow able to slip in and out of Germany more easily than a teenage hottie gets past security at a Justin Bieber concert." Of Sharon Stone's memorable turn in Basic Instinct: "One quick flash of her pubic hair would make her a star--if not at the morning-after water coolers, like Fatal Attraction, then in the night-before wet dreams of the film's vast male viewers." Despite such moments, film buffs will appreciate chapters on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the Oscar-winning film Douglas co-produced, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses of such popular fare as Romancing the Stone and mentions of other stars, from Jack Nicholson to Danny DeVito. A fleeting account of ambition tempered by experience, with special emphasis on reconciling past and present and finding a renewed sense of family.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription
A groundbreaking portrait of one of Hollywood’s most successful stars, from critically acclaimed  and bestselling biographer Marc Eliot
 
Through determination, inventiveness, and charisma, Michael Douglas emerged from the long shadow cast by his movie-legend father, Kirk Douglas, to become his own man and one of the film industry’s most formi­dable players.
 
Overcoming the curse of failure that haunts the sons and daughters of Hollywood celebrities, Michael became a sensation when he successfully brought One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring his friend Jack Nicholson, to the screen after numerous setbacks, including his father’s own failed attempts to make it happen. This 1975 box-office phenomenon won Michael his first Oscar (the film won five total, including Best Picture), an award Kirk hadn’t won at the time, and solidified the turbulent, competitive father-son relationship that would shape...
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