Michael Douglas Was Mistaken for His Kids’ Grandfather by Their Teachers

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Michael Douglas.
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Michael Douglas doesn’t mind being an older dad, even when he is occasionally mistaken for his kids’ grandfather.

The Oscar winner, 79, recounted an awkward instance when he visited one of his kids at college. “This is not grandfather’s day, this is parents’ day. I say ‘I am a parent!’,” he recalled in an interview with The Telegraph published on Saturday, April 20. “That was a rough one.”

Douglas shares daughter Carys Zeta Douglas, 20, and Dylan Michael Douglas, 23, with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, to whom he has been married since 2000. He also shares son Cameron Douglas, 45, with ex-wife Diandra Luker.

According to Michael, his 25-year marriage to Zeta-Jones has been a “good ride,” and he believes expanding his family later in life made him a better father. However, this doesn’t mean he has zero regrets about his approach to parenting.


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“Cameron suffered a lot from that time,” Michael told The Telegraph of his eldest son. “I was just overwhelmed and overloaded by my work. And family was really taking third place after work, our country and then the family, as opposed to when Catherine and I got together. And you’ve done enough work already that you were looking more to enjoy the opportunity and the kids.”

In May 2023, Cameron spoke about how his struggles with drug addiction and an almost seven-year stint in prison from 2010 to 2016 damaged his relationship with his father. “My father, aside from me, was probably the relationship that took the longest to sort of, you know, find its way back to — I think a place where both of us felt fulfilled and felt safe,” Cameron exclusively told Us Weekly last year.

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Dylan Michael Douglas, Michael Douglas, Carys Zeta-Douglas.
(Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)

“It was years of my behavior [that added to] us not really having much of a relationship [starting] since I was an early teen,” Cameron told Us. “It was never a nasty relationship, you know, we always sort of had a good time together and obviously love each other. It just wasn’t much there because I wasn’t available.”

He added that it “took a little while for [Douglas] to sort of trust me again,” but he was “grateful” the two could now “enjoy each other’s company on a regular basis.”

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As for his youngest two children, Michael told The Telegraph on Saturday that he and Zeta-Jones were enjoying being “empty nesters” now that the kids have either moved out or gone to college. However, he admitted that as the years go by, it has become more of a challenge to keep up with the youngsters.

“I’m just sliding by just now,” he said. “I’ve reached the point in terms of skiing and a couple of other activities that I’m no longer able to keep up with them on any basis. But it’s nice having somebody look after you and say, ‘You OK, dad?’”

He continued, “This has been a great time for me but I’ve been very fortunate. Catherine and I have been together, it’ll be 25 years this year. So it’s been a good ride and I’ve been very fortunate, happy with the choices that I’ve made and now am kind of really backing off and smelling the roses a little more, traveling more. We’re empty nesters so we can get around a lot more than we used to raising two children in your fifties, sixties, and into your seventies.”

Douglas went on to say that Dylan and Carys have brought him and Zeta-Jones a “tremendous amount of joy,” calling them “extraordinary beings.” “I probably certainly have to thank their mum and Catherine,” he added. “They’ve just been a joy. We’ve had no issues per se. Had a lovely, lovely life together. Dylan is completely out of school now and Carys has got one more year of college.”

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