Michal Douglas last night revealed his throat cancer has spread beyond its original tumour and that his illness is more advanced than was first feared. In a dramatic TV interview with David Letterman, the Oscar-winning actor explained that his throat had been bothering him for several months before the cancer was eventually diagnosed following his summer vacation.
“It’s a stage four [cancer], which is intense,” Douglas said. “You want to be at stage one.” Stage four refers to cancers that have metastasised and often prove fatal. However, Douglas appeared to stress that the disease’s progress was still limited. “The big thing you’re worried about is it spreading,” he said. “I am head and neck. It hasn’t gone down. The expectations are good.”
Appearing on CBS’s Late Show With David Letterman, the 65-year-old actor said that his illness was probably caused by a lifetime of drinking and smoking. He is currently undergoing a course of chemotherapy and put his survival odds at around 80%.
Born in New Jersey, the son of Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas first came to fame in the 1970s cop series The Streets of San Francisco. He produced the multi-award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and won the best actor Oscar for his turn as rapacious trader Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s 1987 drama Wall Street. His other films include Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and Falling Down.
Douglas has a son from his first marriage to Diandra Luker and two young children with his current wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. In recent months he has won plaudits for reprising the role of Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel, Money Never Sleeps, which premiered at this year’s Cannes film festival.
Arriving at the TV studio to promote the film, Douglas still managed to look every inch the Hollywood movie star, prompting Letterman to remark he had never seen him looking better. “It doesn’t sound like you’ve got throat cancer,” the TV host marvelled. “Why is that?”
Douglas grinned, ever the professional. “Because I’m on stage!” he replied – Guardian