Michael Douglas admits his father Kirk 'casts a long shadow'
Michael Douglas admits that his father Kirk still casts "an extremely long shadow" aged 99.
The 72-year-old Hollywood star has acknowledged that the 'Spartacus' actor was and still is, despite his advancing years, a hugely influential figure in whatever he does.
Michael shared: "When I was born, my father, Kirk, was 28, my mother, Diana, only 21. When I was barely two, my father decided he'd had enough of playing not particularly memorable parts in Broadway plays and took off on his own for Hollywood in pursuit of fame and fortune.
"Whichever way you cut it, Kirk was a man who cast - who still casts, aged 99 - an extremely long shadow. He was, and is, incredibly dynamic, larger than life, sometimes aggressive, a very masculine man who loved women.
"As my mother quickly discovered. Within 18 months of him being in California, she had seen and read enough to call time on the marriage. They divorced when I was seven and my younger brother, Joel, four."
Michael's mother Diana passed away in 2015, aged 92, and he has nothing but fond memories of her.
He told the Guardian newspaper: "She struggled as a single mum, working in soap operas and on and off Broadway. Then she made a wonderful choice in her next husband, a lovely man, another actor, called Bill Darrid. They married when I was 12. We lived in a small farmhouse in Connecticut, not 20 miles from where I live today.
"Bill was an extraordinary guy, the most important male influence through my teenage years. To his credit, Kirk always referred to him as my surrogate father.
"Step-parents often get a bad press. But it isn't always true. This was a man who took on the responsibility of raising another man's children, and that included answering questions about the birds and the bees."