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In 1975, Douglas received from his father, Kirk Douglas, the rights to the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Michael went on to produce the film of the same name with Saul Zaentz.
The year 1987 saw Douglas star in the horror thriller Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close.
That same year he played tycoon Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street for which he received an Academy Award as Best Actor.
Apart from his career in the film industry, Douglas has received notice for his humanitarian and political activism, as well as media attention for his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his tongue cancer diagnosis.
Douglas's uncle was politician Sir Nicholas Bayard Dill, and Douglas's maternal grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Melville Dill, served as Attorney General of Bermuda, as a Member of the Parliament of Bermuda (MCP), and as commanding officer of the Bermuda Militia Artillery.
After leaving The Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas went on to produce films including The China Syndrome (1979) and Romancing the Stone (1984).
Kirk relented, and the lead role went instead to Jack Nicholson, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
In 1979, he both produced and starred in The China Syndrome, a dramatic film co-starring Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon about a nuclear power plant accident (the Three Mile Island accident took place 12 days after the film's release).
The film was considered "one of the most intelligent Hollywood films of the 1970s." Douglas's acting career was propelled to fame when he produced and starred in the 1984 romantic adventure comedy Romancing the Stone.
After Douglas left the show, he had a long association with his mentor until Malden's death on July 1, 2009.
In 2004, Douglas presented Malden with the Monte Cristo Award of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The movie was a box office hit, and sparked controversy over its depictions of bisexuality and lesbianism.