Ac­tor Dou­glas hon­oured by se­niors’ or­ga­ni­za­tion

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - ARTS & LIFE - By Nekesa Mumbi Moody

NEW YORK — An emo­tional Michael Dou­glas said Thurs­day that sur­viv­ing his can­cer scare sev­eral years ago gave him new vi­tal­ity as he set­tles into his se­nior years.

Dou­glas, 71, spoke about his health at an AARP (for­merly the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­tired Per­sons) luncheon cel­e­brat­ing the Acad­emy Award win­ner’s sto­ried ca­reer and said: “It’s good to be alive.”

Dou­glas bat­tled stage 4 throat can­cer in 2010.

“Once you come out of that end, you have a resur­gence, cer­tainly of en­ergy,” he told the crowd at the renowned restau­rant Le Bernardin.

Dou­glas had his own celebrity cheer­ing sec­tion as he was given AARP’s “Movies for Grownups” Life­time Achieve­ment Award.

Be­sides his wife, fel­low Os­car win­ner Cather­ine Zeta-Jones, his Ant-Man co-star Paul Rudd, his Fa­tal At­trac­tion co-star Glen Close, Blythe Dan­ner, David Hyde Pierce, Zac Posen and Jann Wen­ner at­tended.

Close joked: “I love Michael so much that I stopped colour­ing my hair so I can look like him.”

Dou­glas called One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which he pro­duced, his most pro­found work, and noted that it was turned down at ev­ery Hol­ly­wood stu­dio be­fore its even­tual release. He also at­trib­uted his longevity to pick­ing the best film to work on in­stead of the best role.

“The great­est com­pli­ment I could get is that ‘I see your name, and I don’t know what I’m gonna get but it’s go­ing to be good,’ ” he said.

His voice cracked when he thanked his wife for her sup­port; the couple sep­a­rated a couple of years ago but rec­on­ciled, and Dou­glas noted they were cel­e­brat­ing their 15th an­niver­sary this year.

He also got po­lit­i­cal, rail­ing against su­per PACs that give large con­tri­bu­tions to po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates, blam­ing them for vi­cious­ness in the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign cli­mate.

He also cited Wed­nes­day’s deadly mass shoot­ing in San Ber­nadino, Calif., in ask­ing for peo­ple of dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal be­liefs to unite on a com­mon gun-con­trol so­lu­tion, so “we can­not be com­pletely em­bar­rassed” be­fore the rest of the world.

Dou­glas will re­ceive AARP’s award of­fi­cially at a cer­e­mony in Los An­ge­les in Fe­bru­ary.


Michael Dou­glas: ‘It’s good to be alive.’

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