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AFI Life Achievement Award

Michael Douglas

Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey to film icon Kirk Douglas and his wife Diana, Michael Douglas followed in his father’s footsteps into the entertainment business. He first made a name for himself starring in the popular television series The Streets of San Francisco with Karl Malden, followed by films such as Adam at 6 A.M., Summertree and Napoleon and Samantha.

However, it was his role as producer in the film ONE Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that cemented his standing in the film community. The 1975 film took home the top five Oscars that year - Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director (Milos Forman) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman). It marked the beginning of a producing career that would prove at times to be as equally rewarding as his acting career.

Douglas followed this success with starring roles in several films such as Coma, It’s My Turn and The China Syndrome, which he also produced. In the 1980s, Douglas's popularity grew. As a producer, he gave director Robert Zemeckis his first big hit with Romancing the Stone and his starring role in the film solidified him as a leading man. In 1987, Douglas starred in the year's two most talked-about movies - Adrien Lyne's Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close and Anne Archer, and Oliver Stone's Wall Street with Charlie Sheen. It was the role as financier Gordon Gekko which garnered him the Best Actor Academy Award.

The 1990s were just as good to Douglas, starring opposite Sharon Stone in Paul Verhooven's 1992 hit Basic Instinct the sexually charged thriller that broke established taboos on the big screen. Other starring roles in the 1990s included Falling Down, Disclosure and Rob Reiner's The American President, in which he played the president. In 1997, Douglas produced the hugely popular Face/Off, directed by John Woo and starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. In 1999, he narrated the Oscar-winning documentary One Day in September and starred in Wonder Boys with Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey, Jr., and Katie Holmes, directed by Curtis Hanson.

In 2000, Douglas starred in Steven Soderbergh's widely-acclaimed Traffic, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Douglas co-starred with Albert Brooks in a remake of the 1979 film The In-Laws and in 2006 he starred in The Sentinel and You, Me and Dupree, followed by the 2007 film King of California.