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Michael Douglas inspired by Lennon death

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Michael Douglas inspired by Lennon death

Michael Douglas became a campaigner to end gun violence after getting caught in the "fracas" surrounding John Lennon's murder.

The 71-year-old actor was walking home with Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner in December 1980 when they came across a commotion, and the subsequent killing of the Beatles legend outside The Dakota, the building where he lived, made the pair vow to try and change things.

He recalled: "We were walking home one night along Central Park West on December 8 and we passed the Dakota.

"There was all this fracas and it was the night that John Lennon got shot. Right after that, Jann and I were involved with starting an organisation called CeaseFire."

Meanwhile, the 'Wall Street' star - who has 35-year-old son Cameron with ex-wife Diandra and kids Dylan, 15, and Carys, 13, with spouse Catherine Zeta-Jones - isn't worried about getting older because technology and society have changed so much, it's an "exciting" time.

He told the New York Daily News newspaper's [email protected] column: "There's not much I can do about it, can I?

"Realistically this is about as great a time for getting older. I was looking at a few articles last week about the technology that exists, education, stuff to help your memory. It's as good as time as there is.

"You no longer think about retirement, you think about what new career you're going into, what new things you're going to do so it's an exciting time."

Michael's movie star father Kirk, who turns 99 on December 9, recently worried he couldn't remember one of his own movies - until he realised he was actually watching his son on screen.

Michael said: "Almost a year ago Kirk called me and said, 'Michael I was looking at television, I saw one of my old movies and I felt so bad because I couldn't remember the movie.

"I said, 'Dad, that's OK -- you're 99 next week.' He said, 'No, then I realised it wasn't me, it was you."