Kirk Douglas has revealed he only got close to his son Michael Douglas when he followed in his footsteps and started acting.
The 100-year-old American actor, producer, director and author is a legend of the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood and his son Michael, 72, has also enjoyed an acclaimed cinematic career winning a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in ‘Wall Street’.
Kirk admits their mutual passion for acting repaired their relationship which was fractured after Kirk got divorced from Michael’s actress mother Diana in 1951 when he was just seven years old.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Kirk regretfully admitted: "Michael didn’t like me much after his mother and I got divorced. It was only when he started acting that we became close."
Kirk married Diana in 1943 and they had another son together, American film producer Joel, 70.
Michael got his breakthrough role back in 1969 when he starred on CBS-TV ‘Playhouse’ special ‘The Experiment’ and he went on to star in several little known films before he got his big break in Hollywood in the 1984 romantic adventure comedy ‘Romancing the Stone’ and his career soared from there.
When asked if he ever felt competitive with Michael, Kirk replied: "No! Only proud."
‘Spartacus’ star Kirk admits he was particularly impressed that ‘Basic Instinct’ actor Michael forged ahead with his own plans and ambitions when he was a young man and ignored all advice from his famous father.
He recalled: "I am so proud of Michael because he never followed my advice. I wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer, and the first time I saw him in a play I told him he was terrible. But then I saw him a second time and I said: ‘You were wonderful!’ And I think he is very good in everything he’s done."