Michael Douglas: 'Cancer put my life and marriage into perspective'
Michael Douglas has gained a new appreciation for life after recovering from cancer, and insists he and wife Catherine Zeta-Jones are “tighter” than ever.
The 72-year-old was diagnosed with stage IV tongue cancer, the most advanced type, in 2010 and subsequently underwent treatment. Around three years later he and his actress spouse Catherine, 47, announced their separation after tying the knot in November 2000 and having kids Dylan, 16, and daughter Carys, who turns 14 this month (Apr17) together.
The pair quickly put their differences aside though and reunited just months later, which Michael believes had something to do with the new outlook on life his health scare gave him.
“Once I started coming out the other end of stage four, it gave me a whole new appreciation (of life),” he told reporters at a TCM Classic Film Festival Q and A at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles recently. “Family gives me more purpose than any other thing in my life.”
“You’ve both got to want to make it happen,” Michael added of his and Catherine’s reunion, insisting every marriage has issues. “If one is going out the door, no matter how hard you try, (a split) is going to happen. But I think if you’re fortunate enough to take a look and you want to make it work, then I think you can succeed… And it makes you tighter than before.”
He now feels as though he’s a better husband and father having spent more time with his loved ones, especially as his kids give him “a lot of pressure” to do well. The veteran actor also has son Cameron with first wife Diandra Luker, who he split from in 1995 after around 18 years of marriage. Their 38-year-old son was released from prison last year (16) following a sentence for drug possession, and Michael insists on taking the blame insisting Cameron had a “difficult upbringing”.
“I love my oldest son Cameron…. And he has had difficulties in life, and my memories are that it was my fault and that it was a difficult upbringing,” Michael added.